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P. W. JOYCE, LL.D., T.C.D,, M.R.T.A., 


One of the Peofessohs in the Training Department of the Com- 
missioners OF National Education, Ireland 



Cuille peapa aji eipinn 615. 




Dublin: printed by m'gl\shan amd gill, oO, upper sackville-street. 


>\i:iiLLe peasa an emirqi^ 015— 

An addition of knowledge 
ON Holy Ireland : — These were 
the first words of Gilla-na-Neeve 
O'Heeren, when he undertook to 
complete the description of Ireland, 
which his predecessor, John O'Dugan, 
had left unfinished ; and they form a very suitable 
motto for the book 1 now ofi'er to the notice of the 
public. For this book completes the work that was 
only half accomplished by the first series of " The 
Origin and History of Irish Names of Places." 

When I first took in hand to write a book on Irish 
Local Names, I thought I could grasp the whole 
subject in a single volume ; and in the attempt to 
do so, I compressed as much matter into the First 
Series as any readable book of the size could conve- 
niently hold. I found, however, after it was written, 

iv Preface. 

that I had used little more than half my materials, 
and that there were many things requiring elucida- 
tion, which I had not been able so much as to 
glance at. 

The first book was received favourably, much more 
so, indeed, than I had ever dared to anticipate ; and 
this encouraged me to continue the work. The re- 
sult is the present volume ; and I earnestly hope it 
may be found as worthy of public favour as its pre- 

These two volumes comprise what I have to say 
concerning Irish Local Names; for I have noticed all 
the principal circumstances that were taken advan- 
tage of by the people of this country to designate 
places ; and have explained and illustrated, as far as 
lay in my power, the various laws of name-formation, 
and all the important root- words used in building 
up the structure. 

I have employed throughout this volume the 
methods of investigation described in the first chap- 
ter of the First Series, rendered, I may be permitted 
to hope, less liable to error by stricter precautions, 
closer investigation, and more experience. In that 
chapter I enumerated my principal sources of infor- 
mation, and I need not repeat them here. Only I 
think I ought to mention once more that chief among 
them are the works of O'Donovan, especially his 
magnificent edition of " The Annals of the Four 

Preface. V 

Masters," wliicli no one can do witliout who wislies 
to study Irish literature, history, or topography ; 
and those of the Eev. Dr. Eeeves, which seem to 
exhaust every subject they touch on. I have re- 
read every page of these, with what profit the reader 
may judge by the number of references to them in 
this book. I have also derived much information 
from the recently published Lectures of 0' Curry on 
the manners and customs of the ancient Irish, edited 
by W. K. Sullivan, Ph. D. 

It would have been extremely interesting to com- 
pare our place-names with those of other countries, 
and to point out curious parallels and instances of 
striking similarity of laws. Opportunities for doing 
so occurred in almost every page of this book ; but 
I thought it better to adhere to the plan pursued 
in the First Series — viz., to confine myself to what 
I understood best, the local names of my own 
country, leaving to other hands the work of com- 
parison and generalisation. 

I have now to perform the pleasant duty of 
acknowledging the help of my literary friends. 
The Eev. William Eeeves, D.D.; the Eev. Thaddeus 
O'Mahony, D. D. ; and William M. Hennessy, Esq., 
M.E.I.A., three men profoundly skilled in the subject 
here treated of, read my proof-sheets ; not a mere 
superficial glance, but a close and critical perusal, 
that made it very hard for an incorrect statement or 

vi Preface. 

any error of consequence to pass unnoticed. They 
were, moreover, always ready to assist and advise 
whenever I found it necessary to ask for their 
opinions on special points. It is almost needless to 
add that though I often ventured to dissent from 
their views, yet in numerous cases their criticisms 
led to important modifications. 

Dublin, March, 1875, 






Ch after 






























Chapter XVIII.- 







-The Growth of Words, 1 

-Diminutives, 18 

-Borrowed Words, 44 

-Poetical and Fancy Names, 61 

-Diseases and Cures, 73 

-OiSces and Trades, 89 

-Strangers, 119 

-Irish Personal and Family Names, . . . 124 

-Nicknames, 156 

-English Personal and Family Names, . . 163 

-Articles of Manufacture, 169 

-Boundaries and Fences, 205 

-Various Artificial Works, 213 

-The Sun, 230 

-The Atmosphere, 240 

-The Sea, '248 

-Colours, . 259 

-The Animal Kingdom, 282 

-The Vegetable Kingdom, 300 

-The Mineral Kingdom 339 

viii Contents. 


Chapter XXI.— The Surface of the Laud, 359 

Chapter XXII. — Quagmires and Watery Places, .... 365 

Chapter XXIII. — Size; shape, 390 

Chapter XXIV.— Situation, 414 

Chapter XXV.— The Cardinal Points, 420 

Chapter XXVI. — Various Qualities and Circumstances, . . 429 

Inbex op Names, 459 

I:jdex op Boot Words, 503 




HEEE are many termina- 
tions or suffixes, in the Irish, 
as in other languages, by 
which various new words are 
formed from one root, growing 
out like the branches of a tree 
from the same stem. It is not 
necessary in this place to enter 
on an examination of all these terminations ; I in- 
tend to notice merely those that are found in our 
local names, to explain their meanings as far as I 
can, and to illustrate their use by examples. By a 
careful study of their laws, their combinations, and 
their various changes of form, we are often enabled 
to explain the formation of names which would other- 
wise be puzzling or unintelligible. 

An attentive examination of the terminations of 
the Irish language would have saved many etymolo- 



2 The Growth of Words. [chap. i. 

gists, ancient as well as modern, from error : for they 
have in numerous cases mistaken mere postfixes for 
separate roots ; and have made compounds of words 
that are in reality simple, by slightly altering the 
old authentic forms to suit their own theoines. One 
of the best examples of this deceptive process is 
Clogher, already examined (see First Series). Flann 
of the Monastery resolves the name of the ancient 
palace oi Aileach (see Ellagh, 1st Ser.) into ail, a 
stone, and tich, a sigh ; and Michael O'Clery, one of 
the Four Masters, derives the same name (which is 
applied to a circular stone fortress) from ail, a stone, 
and teach, a house — ail-theach, stone house — a con- 
jecture which looks plausible enough. But they are 
both undoubtedly in error; for the each, as O'Curry 
remarks (Lectures, II., 153), is nothing more than 
the suffix ach: — ailcach, stony, a stony edifice. Erin 
has been resolved into lar-in, western land ; but the 
n is a mere grammatical termination ; and the most 
ancient written form of the name is Eriu, of which 
the genitive is Erenn, dative Erinn. 

Several of the following postfixes have not been 
noticed before ; but I take them as I find them in 
names, and it is our business to show how they per- 
vade the language, and if possible to account for 
them. How far some of them may be compounds, 
or how far some of the letters composing them may 
be the result of mere phonetic change rather than of 
etymological descent, may admit of question. The 
whole subject would repay a further examination, 
and it would be interesting to compare the Irish 
suffixes with their cognates in other Indo-European 
languages ; but what I have said in this chapter will, 
I hope, be considered quite suflB.cient for the purpose 
I have in hands. 

CHAP. I.] The Groicth of Words. 3 

Before proceeding furtlier it is necessary to notice 
a peculiarity of Irish pronunciation, which often 
modifies words by the addition of letters having no 
signification. There are certain consonants which 
in the Irish language do not coalesce in sound when 
they come together in a word, so that when they are 
pronounced, a short vowel is heard between them — a 
sort of phonetic buffer — to prevent the disagreeable 
clash of two incompatible consonantal sounds. When 
for instance scan [shan] old, is joined to caiseal 
[cashel], a circular stone fort, a short vowel sound 
is uttered between the n and the c, and the com- 
pound — 8ean-chaiseaJ, old stone fort — is pronounced 
in four syllables, Shanacashel, the name of some 
places in Cork and Kerry. Sometimes this vowel does 
not appear in anglicised names, as in Shancashlaun, 
old castle, in the parish of Kilmagauny, in Kilkenny. 
It is unnecessary to illustrate this principle any further 
here, as numerous examples of its operation will be 
found in the names occurring in this and the next chap- 
ter. (See also O'Donovan's Irish Grammar, p. 57.) 

Ach, lack, nach, rack, tach, track, spach. All these 
postfixes have a collective signification when placed 
after nouns, and generally convey the sense of " full 
of," " abounding in," much the same as the English 
postfixes/^f/, //, and ous. In Irish writings, especially 
if they be ancient, these terminations are often written 
ech, lech, &c. ; and sometimes, in compliance with a 
grammatical custom, they are changed to each, leach, 
&c. ; but these changes do not influence the anglicised 

Ach. This is the most common of all Irish termi- 
nations, and its most usual form in anglicised names 
is agh, which is sounded with a strong guttural by 
the people, but pronounced dh by those who cannot 


4 The Growth of Words. [chap. i. 

sound the guttural. Scart means a brake or scrubby 
place ; and Scartagh, the name of a place near Clona- 
kiltj in Cork, signifies a place covered with brakes — 
a bushy spot. From draighcn [dreen] the black- 
thorn or sloe bush, we have draigJineeh, a place 
abounding in blackthorns ; and this again com- 
pounded with cill, church, gives CiU-draighnech (so 
written in the Irish Calendars), the church of the 
sloe-bushes. It was one of the churches of St. Ernin 
or Mernoc (died, a. d. 635) who is mentioned by 
Adamnan in his Life of St, Columba, and who gave 
name to Inchmarnock and to the two Kilmarnocks 
in Scotland. This church has left its name on a 
townland, now called Kildreenagh, in the parish of 
Dunleckny in Carlow, near Bagenalstown, 

In the parish of Kilrossanty in Waterford, there 
is a valley into which several glens converge, each 
carrying a stream from the surrounding mountains. 
The word comar or cummer, in one of its significa- 
tions, is applied to the meeting of streams or glens ; 
and this valley has got the very appropriate name 
of Comeragh, a place of comars or confluences. 
Moreover it was in former days an important place, 
and as such, gave name to the Comeragh mountains 
by which it is surrounded. The river that flows 
from Lough Derriana to Lough Currane, near Bally- 
naskelligs bay in Kerry, is called Cummeragh, the 
river of the glens or confluences. 

In accordance with the principle examined in the 
First Series (Part I. Chap, ii., sect, vii.), this termi- 
nation very often appears in the Irish oblique form, 
aigh, which is pronounced like the English postfix y, 
and is often changed to it in anglicised names. 
Ahhal [oul] is an apple, or an apple tree ; Ouley 
(Irish Ahhalaigh) a place full of apple trees, the 

CHAP. I.] The Groicth of Worm. 5 

name of a townland near Ballyhaise in Cavan, and 
of two others in Down, one near Saintfield, and the 
other three miles from Eathfriland. 

The termination ach is often added on to a word 
for no apparent reason except to form " a sort of 
finish," without in any way changing the meaning 
of the word ; hut it is probable that this is a remnant 
of an old formation, whose proper use has been lost 
in the course of ages. Thus smol., a thrush, is in 
the spoken language more generally called smolach; 
star (treasure) is often made st orach, as in the 
common term of endearment, astorach. Lios [lis] a 
fort, is occasionally lengthened to liosach, as we see 
it in Lissaghmore (great fort) in the parish ofAgivey 
in Derry ; and in Lissaghanedan near Ardagh in 
Longford, the fort of the face or hill-brow. Dim is 
similarly augmented in Doonaghboy near Kilkee in 
Clare, the yellow dun or fort — yellow probably from 
furze blossoms. 

Lach. This has still the same general meaning — 
"abounding in;" but some of the following examples 
will show that like ach, it is occasionally affixed to 
words without adding much, or anything, to the 
meaning. Its most correct anglicised form is lagh, 
and we find this in such names as Muclagh, a place 
of mucs or pigs, Broclagh, a place frequented by brocs 
or badgers (See 1st Ser. Part II., c. vii.). Near Edge- 
worthstown in the county Longford, there is a town- 
land called Cranalagh ; here the short a is inserted 
in accordance with the principle explained at page 3 ; 
and the name signifies a place full of cranns or trees. 
Garravlagh, the name of a place in the parish of 
Tagheen in Mayo, signifies rough or coarse land, 
from garhh [garrav], rough. 

This affix more commonly appears in an oblique 

6 The Groioth of Words. [chap. i. 

form {laigh, pron. lee) ; as in G-arrifly in Fermanagh 
and Monaghan, wliicli is the same as the name last 
mentioned ; Cranally in the parish of Abbeylara in 
Longford, the same as Oranalagh. Brackly in 
Armagh and Monaghan is the same as Bracklagh in 
other counties, and signifies a speckled place (breac, 
speckled) ; Edentrumly in the parish of Clonallan in 
Down, south-east of Newry {edan, a brow, trom^ the 
elder), is the hill brow of the elder trees. 

Nach : usual anglicised forms, nagh, ney and ny. 
This postfix is well exhibited in Lougharnagh, a 
townland near Galway bay in the north-west of the 
barony of Kiltartan, anciently one of the seats of the 
family of O'Heyne : for the Irish form we have the 
authority of Mac Firbis (Hy F. p. 68), who writes 
it LuacJiarnach, meaning rushy land, from luachair, 
rushes. Another very good illustration is Sawnagh, 
the name of a place near Portumna in Gralway ; 
Samhnach, a place abounding in samh [saw] or sorrel. 
Bracknagh, Brackenagh (vowel sound inserted — 
page 3), and Brackney, the names of many places in 
various counties, same meaning as Bracklagh — a 
speckled place (from breac). In the parishes of 
Lackagh and Hathangan in Kildare, there are two 
townlands called Mynagli ; and in Meath, Tyrone, 
and Cavan, there are several places called Moynagh ; 
all meaning a level place, from magh, a plain ; while 
with the diminutive, the name becomes Moynaghan 
(small level spot) near Irvinestown in Fermanagh. 
From mothar [moher] a thicket or a ruin of a build- 
ing, comes Mohernagh near Shanagolden in Lime- 
rick, a place of thickets or ruins. In the parish of 
Moynoe in Clare, four miles north of the village of 
Scarriff, there is a mountain called Turkenagh, the 
name of which is derived from tore, a boar, and 

CHAP. I.] The Growth of Words. 7 

signifies a resort of wild boars ; like Muckenagh, 
from mnc^ a pig, Brockenagh, from hroc, a badger 
(see these in 1st Ser.). Exactly iu the same way is 
formed the name of Ushnagh Hill, in the parish of 
Conry in Westmeath, celebrated in ancient Irish 
history — the point where the provinces met, and 
where King Tuathal the Acceptable built a palace and 
established a fair in the first century. In the oldest 
authorities the name is spelled Uisnech, which comes 
from OS, a fawn (inflected to uis by a well known 
orthographical rule, just as it is in the proper name 
Oisin) and signifies a place of fawns. The Dinn- 
seanchas indeed accounts for the name differently 
(see 0' Curry — Lectures, I. 191), but the story there 
told is quite worthless as an authority, so far as the 
etymology of the name is concerned. There is 
another place with this name, now called Usnagh, 
in the parish of Clogherny in Tyrone. 

Rach : anglicised forms ragh and rf/. Numerous 
examples might be cited of its use in the Irish lan- 
guage : but it will be sufficient to quote the term 
maighrech, used by O'Heeren (page 96, verse 6) to 
signify level land, from magh, a plain. 

South of Millstreet in Cork, is the well-known range 
called the Boggeragh liills (vowel sound inserted 
between g and r — page 3), whose name is sufficiently 
descriptive, signifying a soft or boggy place. Those 
who visit Lough Grill near Sligo cannot fail to notice 
the demesne of Cleaveragh near the lake, about a 
mile from the town, whose name'indicates, either that 
basket makers lived and grew osiers for their trade 
there at some former time, or that people used hurdles 
or rude wickerwork bridges to cross the river or the 
marshy spots near it : cliahh [cleeve] a basket or 
hurdle. Cleavry in the parish of Kilmacallen in the 

8 The Growth of Words. [chap. i. 

same county, and Clievragh near Listowel in Kerry, 
have the same origin ; Drumcleavry in Roscommon, 
near the village of Drumsna, the ridge of the baskets 
or hurdles, Foydragh in the parish of Aghavea, 
Fermanagh, signifies literally a place of sods (fod, 
a sod), i. e. a spot whose surface is smooth and grassy. 

Tach. This Irish postfix is not as common as the 
preceding, but it occurs often enough to assert its 
place as a distinct termination. In that part of the 
parish of Taghboy lying in the county Glalway, there 
is a townland called Clytagh, a name which means 
a place of dykes or fences — cladh [cly], a dyke. A 
little stream called Oiltiagh runs down the slope of 
Table Mountain into the Glen of Imaile in Wicklow, 
and joins the Slaney near its source : the name signi- 
fies cliffy, from aiU, a cliff. Reatagh in the parish 
of Fenoagh in Waterford, a little below Carrick-on- 
Suir, means plain, open, or cleared land, from reidh 
[rea], a plain or open place. The oblique form 
appears in Kilrossanty, a parish in Waterford, the 
name of which grew up in this way : — ro.s, a wood ; 
rossan (dimin.), little wood or brushwood ; rossantach, 
a place overgrown with underwood ; Kilrossanty, 
the church of the woody or shrubby place. 

Trach. This termination occurs very often in the 
forms tragh and tra, and in the oblique form try. 
Cuileanntvach is a name frequently used in the Irish 
annals, signifying a place oicuilcnn or holly (see Cul- 
lentra, 1st Ser.). Fostragh in Longford and Ros- 
common, a wilderness (from/«.s — see 1st Ser.), the 
same as Fastry, the name of two townlands in 
Monaghan. From Us, a fort, we have liostrach (like 
liosach, p. 5), and this again goes to form Listraghee 
in the parish of Clonbroney in Longford, the fort of 
Aedh [Ay] or Hugh ; as well as Listraheagny near 

CHAP. I.] The Growth of Words. ' 9 

tlie town of Monaghan, Egnachh or Eagny's fort. 
The oblique form is seen in Coultry near Santry in 
Dublin, a place of colh or hazels. 

Scach [shagh]. This is not very common in local 
names, but it is often used as a kind of feminine ter- 
mination. Thus from Gall, a foreigner, we have 
Gailheach, which is constantly used in Irish writings 
to signify an Englishwoman ; and this again is re- 
produced in Ballynagalshy {Baile-na-Gailhighe) the 
name of a townland in the parish of Castlejordan in 
Meath, the town of the Englishwoman. But seach is 
in many cases used in much the same manner as the 
preceding terminations. Ban signifies a green field ; 
and Bdinseach means a level spot covered with grass, 
which gives name to all those places now called 
Bansha and Bansby ; Derrynabaunshy in the parish 
of Attymass, Mayo, and Coolnabanch (shortened from 
Coolnabanshy) near Clonaslee in Queen's County, the 
oak-wood, and the hill-back, of the grassy plain. 
Kelsha near Baltinglass in Wicklow is the anglicised 
form of Coilheach, underwood or brushwood, from coilly 
a wood. 

I have classed all the preceding terminations 
together, because they correspond generally in 
meaning, and because the first of them, ach, forms 
the ending of all the rest. But there are some others, 
differing entirely in formation, and somewhat differ- 
ent in meaning, which I will now examine. 

Char or chor. This postfix conveys a cumulative 
sense, which is well seen in Bennchor, a collection of 
peaks or gables, from heann, a peak (see Banagher, 
1st Ser.). Exactly similar in formation to this, is 
Cranagher, in the parish of Clooney in Clare, which 
is anglicised from Crannchar, as Banagher from 
Bcnnchar, and signifies a place of cranns or trees. 

10 The Groioth of Words. [chap. i. 

So also from grean [gran] gravel, we have granagher, 
a gravelly place, which forms again Grortnagranagher 
in Mayo and Limerick, the gravelly field {gort). 
There is a small river in the county Leitrim, flowing 
from Belhavel lake into the north-west corner of 
Lough Allen ; it was formerly called the Duff, but 
it is now known by the equivalent name, Diffagher, 
which very well represents the sound of Duibheachair 
(ea, vowel sound, inserted), black river, from dubh, 
black. The celebrated plague called the yellow sick- 
ness, which swept over the British Islands and the 
Continent in the seventh century, is sometimes called 
hindheachair in the Irish annals. This word is re- 
produced in the name of Cloonboygher near Carrig- 
allen in Leitrim ; but here it is probable that the 
term was applied to the yellow colour of the water 
or of the mud ; and that the name means the meadow 
of the yellowish water {huidhe, yellow). 

Bhar, hhre. These two terminations, one of which 
appears to be only a varied form of the other, have 
much the same meaning as the last, that is, they 
convey a cumulative sense. The second form appears 
in Dairhhre^ a place of oaks {dear, an oak), which has 
been already discussed (see Darrery, 1st Ser.). 

From the first, hhar, is formed Darver (Darbhar), 
the name of a parish in Louth, which also means a 
place producing oaks. Duille [dullia] signifies the 
leaf of a tree ; duilleahhar [dillaver, dillure], an Irish 
word in constant use, foliage : Lisdillure in the parish 
of Drum in Roscommon, south-west from Athlone, 
must have received its name from an old fort covered 
with leafy trees — Lios-duilleabhair, the lis of the 
foliage. The word itself gives name to the river 
Delour joining the Nore west of Mountrath, which, 
judging from the name, must have formerly flowed 

CHAP. I.] The Growth of Words. 11 

througli a "well-wooded district. In tlie north, the 
word is usually shortened to cUlIur : Tattendillur 
near Maguire's Bridge in Fermanagh, signifies the 
tate or field of the foliage ; Corradillar in the parish 
of Aghalurcher in the same county, leafy little hill 
(cor). DniUe is also used to signify leafiness, in 
Knoekadilly in the parish of Killincooly in Wexford, 
the hill of the foliage ; while the adjective form 
dmllcach (formed by adding the termination ach, for 
which see page 3), signifying leafy, a leafy place, 
gives name to the lake and townland of Dillagh, 
situated about two miles south of the village of 
Bellananagh in Cavan. 

i^e, aire. By an inspection of some of the follow- 
ing examples, it will appear that the second of these 
is derived from the first merely by the insertion of 
the phonetic vowel (p. 3) : both convey a cumulative 
sense, which is seen very clearly in the word helre, 
speech, from hel, the mouth. There is a townland 
called Fodry on the Atlantic coast within two miles 
of Loop Head in Clare, the name of which is pro- 
nounced Foidre by the people, and signifies a place 
with a smooth green surface, literally a place oifods 
or sods. Craggera in the parish of Kilgarvan in 
Mayo, is a mispronunciation for Cnagaire [Knaggera: 
k sounded] a hard little hill ; and this is derived from 
Cnag, a knob, which gives name to the hill of Knag 
over the north shore of Lough Currane in Kerry : 
Mira near Athenry in Gralway, Maighre, a level 
place, from magh, a plain, Crory, the name of some 
places in Wexford, and Cruary near Clonakilty in 
Cork, are both anglicised from Cruaidhre, signifying 
hard land, which itself is derived from cniadh [croo], 
hard. While St. Patrick sojourned among the tribe 
of Hy- Tuirtre on the west side of Lough Neagh, we 

12 The Growth of Words. [chap. i. 

are told in the Tripartite Life, that he founded seven 
churches in the neighbourhood, one of which is called 
in the old records Domhnach-fhainre. The latter part 
means sloping land, from/c«(, a slope ; and the whole 
name signifies the church of the slope. In angli- 
cising it, the aspirated / has disappeared, and the 
church is now called Donaghenry, and has given name 
to a parish in the east of Tyrone, near Lough Neagh. 

R. The letter r (preceded by a vowel if necessary 
for pronunciation — p. 3) is often added to nouns to 
give a collective or cumulative signification, as in 
clochar, a stony place, from clock, a stone (see Clogher 
in First Series). From ho, a cow, comes buar, kine, 
"cattle of the cow kind," a word in constant use; 
and from this again, we have Drumbure in the parish 
of Currin, south of Clones in Monaghan, the drum 
or hill-ridge of the cows ; which by the addition of 
aigh (gen. ofach — page 4) gives Drumboory, having 
the same meaning, the name of places in Cavan, 
Fermanagh, and Monaghan. From till, a little hill, 
we have TuUerboy, yellow hills, in the parish of 
Athlacca in Limerick ; brunch, a border, gives us 
Brougher (i. e, limits or borders) in Mayo, Fer- 
managh, and Sligo. From cnoc, a hill, is derived 
knocker, which we find in Knockergrana in the 
parish of Clonca, Donegal, ugly hilly place (grana, 
ugly) ; and in Knockersally in the parish of Bally- 
boggan in Meatli, the hill or hilly place of sallows. 

In some of the preceding names, and others of this 
class, the letter r appears, like nch, to add little or 
nothing to the meaning. 

8. This is a usual termination for abstract nouns ; 
as for instance in acihhneas [eevnas], delight, from 
aeihhinn, [eeviu], delightful; mciithcas [mahas], good- 
ness, from nutith [mah], good. It occurs sufficiently 

CHAP. I.] The Gmwth of Words. 13 

often in local names (witli a vowel sound preceding 
when necessary — p. 3) to deserve rank as a distinct 
termination ; but in tlie greater number of those 
names in which I have found it, I am unable to per- 
ceive that it indicates abstract quality. Often it 
seems to have something of a collective meaning like 
r ; but in many cases it appears to have been used 
for no definite purpose at all. Bearna is the usual 
word for a gap ; but we have the authority of Irish 
JMSS. for another form of the word, namely heornas, 
which appears to differ in nowise from the first ; and 
the two words corcach and corcas, both of which are in 
constant use to signify a marsh, are equally identical 
in meaning. Here, however, the conclusion we ought 
to draw is, that this letter as a termination had once 
a meaning which it has lost. 

Pullis is the name of a townland in the parish of 
Donagh, county ]\Ionaghan, near Grlasslough ; and it 
means a place full of holes, from poll, a hole. Leamh 
[lav] is the elm tree ; and Cloonlavis in the parish of 
Knock in Maj^o, is the cloon or meadow of the elms. 
Magherascouse is the name of a place near Comber 
in Down, which very well conveys the sound of 
Machaire-sceamhais, the field of the polypody or wall 
fern, the Irish name for this herb being seeamh [scav, 
scow] . Ragam is the Irish word for horse-radish ; 
and Ragamus, the name of a place near ICnocklong 
in Limerick, signifies, according to the old people, 
a place abounding in horse-radish. 

On the coast of Kerry, west of Tralee, just at the 
base of Brandon hill, there is a remarkable basin- 
shaped hollow, shut in by precipices on all sides ex- 
cept the north, where it looks out on the sea ; and it 
is universally known by the name of Sauce. A 
plentiful crop of sorrel grows at the bottom of the 

14 The Growth of Words. [chap. i. 

basin as well as on the high land over it, and this 
evidently gave origin to the name, which is formed 
exactly like the two last : — samh [sauv or saw] , sorrel : 
sam/ias [sauce], a place abounding in sorrel. This 
word is not given in O'Reilly, but there is one 
approaching it very nearly, namely samhsa [saussa], 
which is explained as meaning sorrel. I find samhas 
in one other name, though much disguised, viz. 
Lubitavish on the river Dall, a mile from Cushendall 
in Antrim ; a name which exactly represents the 
sound of L'U.b-a'-tsni))hais, the loop or winding of the 
sorrel, so called from a remarkable winding of the 
little river. In this name, the s is eclipsed by t, and 
the mh is represented by v, as is usual in the north. 
It is worthy of remark that at the distance of a mile 
and a half from this townland, there is another called 
Savagh — a place producing sorrel. 

Many other names are formed in a similar way, of 
which the following will be a sufficient illustration. 
Crnadh [croo] means hard ; and cruadhas, signifying 
hardness or hard land, is represented in pronuncia- 
tion by Croase in the parish of Ballyconnick in 
"Wexford. In like manner, Grarroose (near Bruree 
in Limerick) signifies rough land, from garhh [garrav], 
rough ; and similar to both is the formation of the 
common townland named Brittas, which means 
speckled land, from JnY, speckled. 

D. This letter is often added on to the end of 
words, sometimes with a collective meaning, some- 
times with scarcely any meaning at all ; and in 
anglicised names it is often replaced by t. The Irish 
word cael signifies narrow, and in the anglicised form 
heal, it is applied to a narrow stream or a narrow 
stripe ; but in Kerry, between Listowel and Athea, 
it is modified to Kealid, which is now the name of a 

CHAP. I.] The Growth of Words. 15 

townland. Croagli is a common term denoting a 
stack-like hill ; but there is a hill in the parish of 
Moyrus in Galway, called Croaghat, which is the 
same word with the addition of t. 

In like manner is formed the name oftheBonet river 
in Leitrim, flowing into Lough Gill through Druma- 
haire and Manorhamilton, which is called in Irish 
Buanaid, signifying the lasting river. For the Irish 
seem to have been fond of applying the word huan, 
lasting, to rivers. In the Vision of Cahirmore for 
example, in the Book of Leinster, the Slaney is 
called S'lr-buan Skinc, the ever-lasting Slaney. In 
exactly the same way, from dian, strong, vehement, 
or swift, we have Dianaid, the strong or swift stream, 
the name of a river in Tyrone, flowing into theFoyle 
below Strabane, which is now called Burn Dennet. 
There is a lake near Lough Shindilla on the road 
from Clifden to Oughterard in Galway, called Lough 
Oorid, which signifies the lake of the cold or moist 
land, from uar, cold. 

It is hard to see that this termination carries any 
modification of meaning in the following names. 
The word tcarmann [pron. tarramon in some places] 
signifies church land ; but in the parish of Stradbally 
in Galway, south-east of Oranmore, d takes the place 
of n in the townland of Tarramud ; and the same 
change takes place in Corrantarramud, in the parish 
of Monivea, same county, the round hill (cor) of the 
ternion. It may be suspected indeed that in these 
names the d is a remnant of the old spelling, tearmand. 
Fan signifies a slope, and probably from this we have 
Fanad, the name of a district west of Lough Swilly 
in Donegal, written by the Irish authorities, Fanad, 
and signifying sloping ground ; the same name as 
Fanit, in the parish of Kilvellane near Newport in 

16 The Groioth of Words. [chap, i 

Tipperary. It seems certain that the d in these 
names is a termination, whether they be derived from 
fan, a slope, or not. In some parts of Ireland the 
people interpret tajj as meaning a round mass or 
lump ; from which the hill of Topped near Ennis- 
killen derives its name, signifying a round hill. 
From the same root comes lajKtchdn by the addition 
of the diminutive termination chdn (see next chapter), 
with the vowel sound inserted before it (see p. 3) ; 
which, in the anglicised form Tappaghan, is the name 
of another hill about eight miles north of Kesh in 
the same county, with the same general meaning as 
Topped. With the diminutive an, we have Toppan, 
a little islet in the eastern end of Lough Nilly in Fer- 
managh, near where the river Arney enters the lake. 
We must no doubt refer to the same root Taplagh, 
which is formed by adding lack (see p. 5), the name 
of a townland and small lake in the parish of Donagh- 
moyne in Monaghan, about five miles north of Oar- 
rickmacross, a place of lumps or masses, or as the 
natives interpret it, a place of rubbish. 

Compoiind Terminations. The postfixes nac/i, lach, 
and tach, are often found combined with r, forming 
the compound terminations rnach, riach, and rtach, 
of which the first occurs oftener than the others. 
Smut is a log or tree-stump ; and Smutternagh near 
Boyle in Roscommon, signifies a place where there 
are many old trunks of trees — the remains of the 
wood which once clothed the place, the branches 
having withered, or having been lopped off for firing. 
Clog, a bell, a skull or head ; Ologgernagh, the name 
of two townlands in Roscommon, and Claggarnagh 
in Mayo and (ralway, both signify either a round 
bell-like or skull-like hill, or a place full of round 
hills. One of these townlands (in the parish of 

CHAP. I.] The Groicth of Words. 17 

Lisonuffy in Eoscommon) is otherwise called Bell- 
mount, which is not a bad attempt at translation, 
though calculated to convey a false impression as to 
the origin of the name. Brackernagh near Bally- 
canew in Wexford, speckled land, from hreac [brack], 
speckled ; Tullyskeherny, the name of two townlands 
in the north of Leitrim, the hill {tully) of the sceaghs 
or bushes. 

Char and nach are combined so far as I know only 
in one particular compound, sailchearnach, which 
means a place growing sallows {sail) ; and for the 
correct form of this we have the authority of the 
Four Masters, when they mention a place called 
Cluain-sailchearnaigh (the cloon or meadow of the 
osier plantation), which is now a townland with the 
modernised name Cloonselherny, in the parish of 
Kilkeedy, county Clare. The same word is found 
in Annaghselherny in Leitrim, a little north-east of 
Carrick-on-Shannon, the annagh or marsh of the 

Besides the preceding there are many other post- 
fixes in the Irish language : but they do not occur 
sufficiently often in local names to require examina- 
tion here. There is another class ©f terminations, 
viz., diminutives, which are so important that I 
think it necessary to treat of them in a separate 

S'l Diminutives. [chap. ti. 



A DIMINUTIVE termination is a syllable that in- 
dicates smallness. The syllables let and kin for in- 
stance, are English diminutives : — streamlet, a little 
stream ; mannikin, a little man. So in Irish the 
terminations een and oge are diminutives : govt, a field ; 
Ballygorteen in Kilkenny and Tipperary, the town 
of the little field ; cnllen^ holly ; Cullenoge near Tara 
hill, north-east of Grorey in Wexford, little holly, or 
a place of holly trees. 

Before proceeding to enumerate the Irish diminu- 
tives, it is necessary to make a few observations 
regarding certain changes and extensions of their 
meaning and application. While smallness was the 
idea originally expressed — an idea that many of the 
diminutives still retain — the greater number became 
in the course of ages widened in their application, 
and were used to convey other and very difi'erent 
notions. The signification of littleness was in many 
cases quite forgotten, and the diminutives came ulti- 
mately to be applied without any reference to abso- 
lute or comparative size. 'Donovan remarks "that 
some noims ending in [the diminutive syllables] an 
and 6g do not always express diminutive ideas ;" and 
he instances copog, a dock or any large leaf growing 
on the earth ; morcin, a great quantity ; and oiledn, 
an island (Ir. Grram. 333). There is a remarkable 
mountain in Mayo, lying a little to the west of Ne- 
phin, called from its shape, Birreencarragh : bior [bir] 

CHAP. II.] Dmimftives. 19 

means a spit or pin — diminutive hirreen; carrach is 
rugged or rough ; and Birreencarragh signifies tlie 
rugged little pin, whereas it is one of the highest 
and largest mountains in the whole county. Nume- 
rous instances of this change of application might 
be adduced. It is probable, however, that in many 
cases like this last, the diminutive was applied by 
" antiphrasis or contrariety of speech" — for the Irish 
were much given to this manner of speaking — in the 
present instance a kind of playful or ironical appli- 
cation of a term expressing littleness to an object 
remarkably large ; just as Robin Hood's gigantic 
comrade came to be called Little John. 

The diminutives of personal names passed through 
a somewhat similar transition : from littleness they 
were used to express affection or endearment, a very 
natural extension of meaning ; and now the greater 
number have lost all distinctive signification, though 
they still form a part of thousands of personal and 
family names. 

In local names, diminutives are often added to the 
namesof certain animals, vegetables, or minerals, and 
the whole word is used to designate a place abounding 
in one of these several objects. This usage is of old 
standing in the language, for we find the word lemnat, 
a diminutive of km, marsh mallows, given in the 
St. Gall MS. (Zeuss, p. 274), as the equivalent of 
malvacens, i. e. a place producing marsh mallows. 
Bextlg [dalg, dallag] signifies a thorn, and hence a 
thorn bush ; the diminutive dealgan, a thorny brake, 
a place producing thorns ; from which are derived 
the names of Dalgan Demesne near Shrule in Mayo, 
Dalgan near Geashill in King's County, and the 
Dalgan river in the north of the county Gal way, with 
the townland of Dalgin on its banks. With a vowel 


20 Dmimitives. [chap. ii. 

sound inserted (page 3), it is reproduced in the name 
of the little river Dalligan in Waterford, flowing 
into the sea a little to the east of Dungarvan — the 
thorn-producing river — which itself gives name to 
Grlendalligan in the parish of Kilrossanty. 

Zeuss enumerates seven diminutive particles used 
in the ancient Irish language, all of which he found 
occurring in the St. Grail manuscript, a document of 
the eighth century. They are : — for the masculine 
and neuter genders, an, 6n, tat ; for the feminine, 
4ne, ne, naf, net. Most of these have long since dropped 
out of use as living terminations, but we find them 
still forming part of innumerable words ; they retain 
their old places, but they are lifeless and fossilised ; 
some retaining their primitive forms unchanged, 
some crushed and contorted, and difficult of recog- 

I will now proceed to enumerate the diminutives 
given by Zeuss, and examine how far they are re- 
presented in our present names. 

An. This diminutive was anciently more common 
than any other, especially in the formation of per- 
sonal names ; and it has continued in use down to 
the present day. The investigations of Dr. Fer- 
guson and Dr. Grraves have rendered it probable 
that it is the same as the termination agni in Ogham 
inscriptions : but whether ae/jii is the original form, 
or a mere artificial extension of an (for the old 
Ogham writers often lengtli^ned words in this way) 
it is impossible, in the present state of knowledge, to 
determine. (See Proc. R. I. A., vol. i. ser. ii., p. 54). 
An is pronounced long [awn] in the south, and short 
in the north ; and this distinction is generally, but 
not always, reflected in modern forms. From cnoo, 
a hill, is formed cnocdn ; and this again appears in 

CHAP. 11.] i)immutives. 21 

Knockaunbrack in Kerry and Gralway, and in Knock- 
anbrack in Tyrone, speckled little hill. There is a 
small lake three miles west of Downpatrick, contain- 
ing a little island which has given name to tlie parish 
of Loughinislaud : this name is half English, and 
signifies the island of the loughan or small lake. 
Loughan-Island is the present name of a little islet in 
the Bann, ashort distance south of Coleraine, on which 
the Mac Uuillans had formerly a fortress to com- 
mand the fishery of the Lower Bann ; the name is a 
translation of Inis-an-lochain (Four Masters) the 
island of the small lake — for the river expands here 
into a sort of lake ; and no doubt Loughinislaud in 
Down is a translation of the same Irish name. 

In numerous cases the local name in which this 
diminutive occurs is formed from a personal name, to 
which the diminutive properly belongs. The word 
holg was occasionally used as a personal name : thus 
we find the name Bolgodhar [Bolgower — Bolg, the 
pale-faced], and also the family name G'BoJg, in the 
Four Masters. The diminutive Bolgan or Bolcan is 
used much, oftener than the original. St. Olcan, 
founder and bishop of Armoy in Antrim, who was 
ordained by St. Patrick, is also called Bolcan ; and 
the townland of Bovolcan near Ston^^ford in the 
parish of Derryaghy in Antrim, which Colgan writes 
Both-Bolcain {Bokcuv' s tent or booth), was probably so 
called from him, the b being aspirated to v (1st Ser. 
Part I., e. ii.). Near the church of Rasharkin in 
Antrim, there is a ridge of rock called Drumbulcan 
{BoIccDi's ridge) which also took its name from this 
saint (Reeves : Eccl. Ant., p. 90). There are two 
townlands in Fermanagh called Drumbulcan, one 
near Tuam in Galway called Drumbulcaun, and with 
g used instead of c we have Drumbulgan in the parish 

22 Diminutives. [chap. ii. 

of Bally clog, Tyrone ; all of wliicli received their 
names from different persons called Bolcan. Another 
Bolcan left his name on Trabolgan (Bolcan's strand) 
near the mouth of Cork harbour : this place is called 
in the Book of Kights Mur- Bolcan {BoIcan''s sea), 
showing that the change from c to ^ is modern. 

On the margin of Lough Owel in Westmeath, there 
is a parish taking its name from a townland called 
PortlomaUj the po7-t or landing place of St. Loman. 
This saint, whose name is a diminutive of lom, bare, 
is commemorated in O'Clery's Calendar at the 7th 
February, and he is said to have built a small house 
on an island in Lough Owel near Portloman. The 
ruins of the monastery which arose on the site of St. 
Loman's original church are still to be seen within 
the demesne of Portloman. 

Three miles above the village of Tallaght in Dub- 
lin, on the side of Grlenasmole, looking down on the 
river Dodder, there is a picturesque little graveyard and 
ruin called Kill St. Ann, or " Saint Ann's Church ; " 
near it is " Saint Ann's Well ; " and an adjacent resi- 
dence has borrowed from the church the name of "Ann 
Mount." The whole place has been in fact quietly 
given over to St. Ann, who has not the least claim 
to it ; and an old Irish saint has been dispossessed of 
his rightful inheritance by a slight change of name. 
Dalton, in his history of Dublin — apparently quoting 
from the Inquisitions — writes the name Killnasan- 
tan, which he absurdly translates "the church of 
Saint Anne." But in the Repertorium Viride of 
Archbishop Alan, we jfind it written Killmesantan ; 
from which it is obvious that the na in Dalton's Kill- 
nasantan, which he thought was the Irish article, is 
really corrupted from the particle mo, my, so com- 
monly prefixed as a mark of respect to the names 

CHAP. II.] Diminutives. 23 

of Irish saints (see 1st Ser. 3rd ed., p. 141). The Four 
Masters give us the original form of the name at a. d. 
952, when the}^ record the death of Caenchomhrac, 
abbot of the place, viz., Ci/l-J^aspuir/-Sanctdin, i.e. the 
church of Bishop Sanctan. So that the founder of 
this lonely church was one of the early saints— of 
whom several are commemorated in the calendars — 
called Sanctan or Santcni, who no doubt fought hard in 
his day to clear away the pagan mists from the valley. 
He attained the rank of bishoj) ; and the establish- 
ment he founded continued to flourish long after his 
time. The name is a diminutive on the Latin root 
sanet (holy) borrowed into the Irish. Killsantan or 
Killmosanctan was naturally and correctly translated 
in the first instance, Santan's church, which the Eng- 
lish-speaking people, knowing nothing of Bishop 
Sanctan and his spiritual labours, soon converted into 
Saint Ann's church, the form also adopted by Daltou : 
and it is to be regretted that the error is perpetuated 
in the maps of the Ordnance Survey. 

The an belongs to a family name in Cloonygormi- 
cau, the name of a j)arish in Roscommon, which is 
written Cluain-0^ Cormacain in the Registry of Clon- 
macnoise, and signifies O'Cormacan's meadow. 

In the sense of " abounding in," this diminutive 
appears in the name of Growran in Kilkenny. This 
name is written Gahhran in ancient Irish authorities ; 
and in old Anglo-Irish records the place is called 
(with some unimportant variations of spelling) Bal- 
ly gaverau. In very early times it was a residence of 
the kings of Ossory ; and it retained its importance 
long after the English invasion. The word gahhar 
[gower], as I have already explained in the First 
Series, signifies either a steed or a goat, and it is 
a question which signification it bears here ; but on 

24 Diminutives. [chap. ii. 

account of tlie early celebrity of the place, and as it 
must liave been constantly the scene of royal and 
military gatherings, we may fairly conclude that it 
received its name from horses rather than from 
goats : — Gahhran, a place of steeds. The same word 
is seen in composition in Knocknagoran near Car- 
lingford, which by the old people of the locality is 
understood to mean the hill of the goats. With the 
termination ach we have other names of a like signi- 
fication. One of these is Groragh near Newry, whicli 
gives the name " Goragh "Wood " to a station on the 
northern line of railway — a place of goats (formed 
like Brockagh from hroc, a badger: see this in 1st Ser.). 
Gorey in Wexford is the same name, only with the 
oblique form of the postfix, as also is Gouree near 
Glengarrifi* in Cork ; and the name of the place cele- 
brated in the Scotch song " The Lass o' Gourie," has 
a similar origin and meaning. 

The herb coltsfoot is called spiinc in Irish : and 
from this we have the name Spunkane, a townland in 
the parish of Dromod near Waterville lake in Kerry 
— a place producing coltsfoot. In the north of the 
county Roscommon is a little village called Bally- 
farnan, the Irish name of which is Bel-atha-fearnain 
[Bellafarnan] , the ford-mouth of ihefcarndn or alder 
plantation — a name which was originally applied to 
a ford, where there is now a bridge, on the little 
river Feorish. The correct interpretation is preserved 
in the name of the adjoining residence of Alderford. 

Ml, tat, ene. These do not exist as diminutives in 
the modern language. It is j)robable that en and ene 
have become in many cases confounded with either 
tin, or with another diminutive in, of which I shall 
presently speak — that the former have in fact merged 
into one or the other of the latter. We know that 

CHAP. II.] jbiminutives. 25 

the en of caislen (a castle) has been changed to an, 
for while the word is caislen in all old documents, it 
is now always written and pronounced caisledn. 
There are a few examples of the preservation of this 
diminutive in its purity, one of which is Slieve 
Rushen, now more commonly called Slieve Russell 
(change of n to I — IstSer. Part I., c. ii.) a mountain 
on the borders of Fermanagh and Cavan, near the 
village of Ballyconnell. The correct form of the 
name is AS//f/6/? Ruiscn (Four Masters), which means the 
mountain of the little wood. Of tat I have not been 
able to discover any trace in anglicised local names. 

Ne. Though this has been long forgotten as a 
diminutive, it was formerly in very common use, and 
it still holds its place in many local names. The 
parish of Ardcavan, which occupies the extremity of 
a peninsula jutting into Wexford haven, opposite the 
town of Wexford, is called in Irish records Airdne- 
Caemhain [Ardnakevan] — Kevan's little ard or 
height ; and it was so called from a monastery 
founded there by a St. Kevan, or dedicated to him. 
According to O'Clery's Calendar (pp. 143, 169), he 
was a brother of St. Kevin of Glendalough ; their 
mother was named Caemell ; and she had two other 
sons, Caemhog and Natckaeimhe, who are commemo- 
rated in the calendars. The place still contains the 
ruins of an old church. Adjoining this parish is an- 
other called Ardcolm, taking its name from an old 
ruined church, which is called in the Annals Airdne- 
Coluini, Colum's little height. In both these cases 
the diminutive particle has been lost in the process 
of anglicising. There is an Ardcolum in Leitrim, 
and an ArdcoUum in the parish of Xilronan, Ros- 
common ; but the people interpret this last name 
as meaning the hill of the pigeons (colum, a pigeon). 

26 Diminutives. [chap. ii. 

The original name of Delgany in Wicklow is 
Dergne, which ought to have been anglicised Der- 
gany in accordance with the original pronunciation ; 
but it was made Delgany by the usual change of r 
to / (see 1st, Ser. Part I., c. iii). The full name, as 
we find it written in Irish authorities, is Dergne- 
3IocJwyog ; the latter part of which was derived from 
St. Mochorog, a Briton by birth, who, like many of 
his countrymen, settled in Ireland in the primitive 
ages of the Church, He lived in the beginning of 
the seventh century ; and it was he who attended St. 
Kevin of Grlendalough in his last illness in the year 
A. D. 618. The old churchyard of Delgany (which 
is at the lower end of the village) marks the spot 
where the saint built his little church twelve hun- 
dred years ago ; and a slight examination of the 
place will clear up the name Dergne. Under the 
surface is a reddish coloured rock covered with only a 
thin layer of clay, which is hardly deep enough for a 
grave in the cliurchyard. The colour is very per- 
ceptible after rain on the road outside the church- 
yard wall ; and it is still more so when the rock is 
laid bare in the burial ground. This rock in fact 
underlies the whole of the village and the adjacent 
fields, and the water that trickles through it leaves a 
reddish deposit. So the name, which St. Mochorog 
adopted as he found it before him, accurately de- 
scribed the place : — derg, red ; Dergne, red little spot. 
There are places called Dergany, Dergenagh, and 
Derganagh in Tyrone and Derry, all signifying 
red places ; but the terminations are scarcely the 
diminutive ne. From leac, a flag-stone, we have 
leicne [leckna], a little flag — a place full of flag-stones 
(page 19), which gives name to Lickny in the parish 
of Mayne in Westmeath, not far from CastlepoUard ; 

[chap. II. Diminutives. 27 

which also appears in Dunleckny, the name of a 
parish in Carlo w — the fort of the flag- stones ; and in 
Drumleekney {JDriun, a hill-ridge) in the parish of 
Eacavan in Antrim. Just outside the little bay of 
Kilkee in Clare, there is a low reef of rocks called in 
maps and guide books, Duggerna, but which the 
people pronounce, according to the Irish spelling, 
Dogainie. In this word the g represents a more an- 
cient c ; and there can be little doubt that it is 
derived from docair, difficult or obstructive (the 
opposite to a better known word, socair) ; Docairne, 
or Duggerna signifying a hindrance or obstruction — 
a very appropriate name. 

In some cases this diminutive is changed to na, as 
in the proper names Fergna, from ferg, anger, and 
Fiachna, from Jiach, a raven. This change is also 
seen in the name of Blarney near Cork, which is 
pronounced and written in Irish, BIdrna, signifying 
*' little field," from hldr, a field. I have never met 
this word hidr in actual use in the language, but it 
is given in O'Reilly, and in the Scotch Gaelic dic- 
tionaries, as meaning a field ; and it is very common 
in the local nomenclature of Scotland in the form 

Nat or net. There is a pretty example of the use 
of this diminutive, as a term of endearment, in 
Leabhar na hUidhre. In a conversation between 
queen Meave and her daughter Finnabar, the latter, 
when addressing the former, several times calls her 
mdthair or mother ; but on one occasion she says : — 
*^ AtcJiiusa cairptech issamag a matharnait " — "I 
see a chariotman on the plain, my little-mother" 
(page 105 b. —lines 29, 30). It was anciently very 
often used in the formation of women's names ; for 
example, St. Brendan's mother was called Neamhnat 

28 Diminidives. [chap. ii. 

[NavnatJ, wliicli may be rendered CelestiUa, little 
heavenly one. Through the names of women it 
appears in a few local names. The parish of Killas- 
net in Leitrim preserves the memory of the virgin 
saint Osnaf, mentioned by Colgan (A. SS. p. 337), 
whose name signifies "little fawn" {os, a fawn) : Cill- 
Osnata, Osnat's church. About the year a. d. 1200, 
Cahal O'Conor of the Eed Hand, king of Connaught, 
founded a nunnery at a place called Kilcreiinata, 
which is situated about three miles north-west of 
Tuam ; it is now called Kilcreevanty, and there are 
still remaining extensive ruins of the old nunnery. 
The Irish form of the name, as we find it preserved 
in the Four Masters, is Oill-Craehlmatt [Kilcreevnat], 
Creevnat's church. CraehhnaU was a saint, whose 
name signifies little branch (craebh) ; but I do not 
know her history. In the north-east of Gralway, 
there is a parish called Kilbegnet ; and in the south 
of the same county, near Grort, is another called Kil- 
beacanty. The Irish form of the latter name is Cill- 
Becnata, which was anglicised like Kilcreevanty, 
and the place was so called from a saint Becnat (bee, 
small ; Becnat, extremely little body). The patron 
saint of Kilbegnet bore the same name ; but I am not 
able to say whether or no she was the same as the 
founder of Kilbeacanty. 

Except through tlie medium of the names of 
women, I have not found this diminutive termination 
in local names. 

So far regarding the diminutives enumerated by 
Zeuss. But there are several others, some of them 
occurring — at least in later times — quite as often as 
any of the preceding ; and these I will now proceed 
to examine. 

Og, dec, or oc. This was certainly used as a dimi- 

CHAP. II.] Diminutives. 29 

nutive as early as the oldest of the manuscripts 
quoted by Zeuss ; indeed mucli earlier, for we find it 
forming part of the names of saints who lived imme- 
diately after the time of St. Patrick — Mochoiinog, Da- 
hheog, Dachiarog, Maedhog, Mochaemhog, &c. Og also 
signifies young ; and it was no doubt from this that it 
acquired its force as a diminutive ; for such an exten- 
sion of meaning was very natural. It is exceedingly 
common at the present day both in personal and local 
names ; and is easily recognised. It is variously angli- 
cised og, oge^ ogiie, and sometimes by the almost iden- 
tical English termination oek. Monog in. the parish 
of Creggan, Armagh, little 7noin or bog ; Sharavogue 
in King's County, between Roscrea and Parsonstown, 
Sharvoge in the parish of Killashee in Longford ; 
and Sharvogues, three miles from Randalstown in 
Antrim — all these names signify dandelion, or (p. 
19) land producing dandelion (searbh, searbhog) ; and 
there are places in the counties of Meath and Louth, 
and one near Santry in Dublin, called Silloge, from 
sail, ozier : — ozier or sallow-bearing land. 

This diminutive also often appears in the names of 
places through the medium of personal names. The 
Irish personal name represented in sound by Mogue, 
which is still pretty common as a man's name in Wex- 
ford andthe adjoining counties, is iI/«ef//io^,which again 
is contracted from Mo-Acdh-6g, in which Mo is the 
equivalent of " my," og is the diminutive termination, 
while the original meaning of Aedh is fire (see 1st 
Ser. 3rd ed., p. 141 : see also chap. viii. t»fm). There 
is a place near Fiddown in Kilkenny, called Kilmogue, 
i.e. C ill- Maedhog, St. Mogue's Church. Kilmeague, 
the name of a parish and village in Kildare, is another 
anglicised form of Cill-Maedhog ; for in Eawson's 
Statistical Survey (1807) we find it written Kilmooge, 

30' Diminutives. [chap, ii 

and in an Education Report of 1825, Kilmoage. 
The same personal name appears in Timogue, now a 
townland and parish in Queen's County, in which the 
first syllable represents teach, a house. There were 
several saints named Maedhog, of whom the most ce- 
lebrated was Maedhog , first bishop of Ferns in Wex- 
ford, who died in a. d. 625 ; and it is not unlikely 
that one or all of the fore-mentioned places took their 
names from churches dedicated to him. 

Each of the preceding names consists of only two 
syllables ; but when fully unfolded they become much 
longer than one would expect. Taking the last 
as the type, it is Teach-Mo-Aedh-og ; and though 
its proper interpretation is " Mogue's house," yet if 
we go back to the primary signification of the words, 
and make allowance for the genitive, it includes in 
its signification this combination: — [the]-house-of- 
my-little-fire. And this is an excellent illustration of 
the manner in which language incorporates and as- 
similates its materials ; and smoothes down the com- 
pounds so as to form pronounceable words — something 
like the way in which shells, gravel, and all sorts 
of stony fragments, are pressed together and ce- 
mented into marble; which again is carved into 
various forms, and polished by the hand of man, 
though to the last the several materials show faintly 
through the surface. 

In [een]. This is also an old diminutive, though 
sparingly used in ancient manuscripts. But it is ex- 
ceedingly common in modern times ; and indeed it 
may be said to be almost the only one that still re- 
tains its full force as a living diminutive, which it 
does even among the English-speaking people of 
every part of Ireland. Every one has heard such 

CHAP. II.] Diminutives. 31 

words as eruishem^ a little croo^h or pitcher, Jacheen, 
little Jack (a nickname for a certain class of Dublin 
citizens), hohereen, a little holier or road, &c. In the 
south it is usually pronounced long (carrig^e/i) ; in 
the north short ( carrig/») . 

There is a place on the west bank of the Foyle, 
five miles north of Lifford, called Mongavlin ; but it 
should have been called Moygavlin, for the Irish 
name, as the Four Masters write it, is Magh-gaibhlin, 
the plain of the little (river) fork ; from gahhal [_gaval]y 
a fork, diminutive gaibhlin. Gowlin, another mo- 
dern form of ^a/MZ/y?, is the name of a place near 
Dingle in Kerry, and of another in the parish of St. 
Mullins, Carlow, near Grraiguenamanagh. From 
maghera, a plain, is formed Maghereen, little plain, 
nearMacroom in Cork ; Boggeen, little soft spot, is the 
name of a place on the hill of Howth ; Luggacurren 
in Queen's County, well known for its great moat or 
fort, is in Irish, Lug-a'-chuirrin, the hollow of the 
little curvagh or marsh. "We have this diminutive 
also introduced very often with personal names : — 
Ballydaheen is a well-known suburb of Mallow, 
whose name means the town of little Dau or David, 
and there are several other townlands of this name in 
the same county and in Limerick. Ballyfaudeen, 
and Ballypadeen, are the names of some places in 
Clare and Tipperary, the Irish form of which is found 
in the Four Masters — Baile-Phaidin, little Patrick's 

Can or gdn. This diminutive is very common, 
especially in ancient personal names, such as Flandu- 
can (now Flanagan), little Flann; Dubucan, little 
black-complexioned man (now Dugan), &c. The 
more ancient form is can : which, in the modern lan- 
guage, has quite given place to gdn ; and this forms 

32 Diminutives. [chap. ii. 

the final syllable of many of our family names, such 
as Mulligan — Maelagan, little bald man {mael, bald) ; 
Finigan, little fair-haired man {Jinn, white), &o. 

We have it in its original form in Briencan near 
Ballymore-Eustacein Kildare, little hruighean [brien], 
or fairy fort. Lucan near Dublin (from which Sarsfield 
took the title of earl of Lucan) is written in Alan's 
Itepertoriimi Viride, Livecan, and in an Inquisition of 
Charles I., Leivcan ; I have not found any authority 
for the original Irish form ; but these, no doubt, re- 
present Leanihcdn [Lavcan — Lucanj. The first syl- 
lable might mean either elm or the herb marsh 
mallows (see chap. xix. infrct) ; but the forms of 
the name quoted above give more nearly the Irish 
sound of the latter ; and we have, moreover, the pre- 
cedent of the old word lemnat, another diminutive, 
meaning malvacens (see p. 19) ; so that Lucan sig- 
nifies " land producing marsh mallows." 

The more modern form of this diminutive is seen 
in CoUigan, the name of a little river flowing by 
Dungarvan in Waterford, from coll, hazel — the hazel 
growing river ; and in Whinnigan, in the parish of 
Cleenish, Fermanagh, not far from Enniskillen — 
whitish little spot of land, from finn, white. 

In the following cases and others like them, it may 
be doubted whether the termination is the diminu- 
tive can with the c aspirated, or a combination of ach 
and an. Fiom. /earn, the alder tree, is formed fear- 
nachdn, from which again we have Mullafernaghan, 
in the parish of Magherally in Down, near Ban- 
bridge, the hill of the alder plantation ; and similarly 
Carrowfarnaghan near Ballyconnell iu Cavan, the 
quarter-land of the alders. Tulachdn (from tul or 
tulacJi) signifies a little hill, and is usually anglicised 
Tullaghan : TuUaghanbaun in Mayo, signifies white 

CHAP. 11.] DiDu'nufires. 33 

little hill ; wliile iu Tullagliobegly in Donegal, the 
word is cut short, for the Irish name is TulacJian- 
Biijli, Begly's little hill. From dnh]i, black, we have 
DKhliachaii, anglicised Dooglian in Donegal and 
Koscommon, black land. 

Nan. In Cormac's Grlossary, it is stated that the 
na^rae Ada nni a 1 1 is a diminutive ofAda/n; and this is the 
only direct notice I have found of the diminutive ter- 
mination nan. Dr. Stokes, in his commentary on this 
part of Cormac's Grlossary {voce, Adonmdn) instances 
the personal names, Lo/njianns, Scscncoius (Latinised 
forms of the Irish Lomndn and Sescndn), Flait/uidn, 
Lachtndn ; but he doubts whether ndn be not a double 
diminutive [dn + an), or the old adjective nan, little. 

It is found, though not very often, in local names ; 
and the manner in which it is used tends, I think, to 
the conclusion that it is a simple diminutive. The 
townland of Clyuan in the parish of Forgney, near 
Ballj^mahon in Longford, must have taken its name 
from a small dyke or rampart of earth ; — cladh [cly] 
a dyke, diminutive chidltndn. Licknaun in the parish 
of Templemaley iu Clare, is little flag-stone (/ec), or 
flag surfaced land ; Keernaun near Funis in the 
same county, black surfaced land, from ciar, black ; 
Gortlownan, south of Lough Grill in Sligo, the (jo)'t 
or field of the elm plantation — Icamh [lav, lou], elm. 

There is an old adjective dicr [doore] which sig- 
nifies, among other meanings, stupid and obstinate ; 
it is still a living word in this sense wherever Irish is 
spoken ; and in the north of Ireland it survives, and 
is in constant use among the English speaking 
people. In Munster, a stupid, dronish, stubborn 
fellow is called a duvaddn [dooradaun], a diminutive 
form (see p. 35), as familiar in the south as doore is 
in the north. With the diminutive termination at 

34 Blminutkes. [chap. it. 

present under consideration is formed tlie word 
durndn [doornaim], wliicli is well-known as a nick- 
name given to the people of the barony of Iverk, in 
the south of Kilkenny. The peasantry of this and 
the surrounding districts have a legend to account for 
the name. They say that when St. Patrick, in his 
progress through the country, came to Iverk, the 
people treated him very rudely and unkindly ; and 
when he called late one evening at the monastery of 
St. Kieran, the inmates gave him a most inhospitable 
reception — no reception at all indeed, for they shut 
the gates and kept him out all night. But what 
was worse than all, a woman who lived in the neigh- 
bouring village of Ballincrea, cooked up an old 
yellow hound, threw poison on it, and sent it to him 
on a dish for his dinner ; but he detected the plot 
and shewed his followers in a most unmistakable way 
what sort of an animal it really was. The general 
conduct of the inhabitants, crowned by this last in- 
dignity offered to him by the unfortunate woman 
from Ballincrea, highly incensed the saint ; and he 
uttered a bitter speech, in which he predicted that 
the inhabitants should be known to the end of the 
world by the name of Durnauns — that is, a churlish, 
boorish, plebeian people. It is believed that the 
little village of Doornane in the same barony took 
its name from the people. The inhabitants of Iverk 
are a silent and reserved race — " dark people," as 
they would be called in Ireland ; and it is to be 
suspected that this story grew up among the people 
of the adjacent districts of Waterford and Tipperary, 
who have an ancient cause of dislike — not less indeed 
than fourteen hundred years old— for their neigh- 
bours of Iverk. The legend is not wholly without 
use, however, if it has helped to perpetuate in the 

CHAP. ii.J Diminutives. 35 

word durnuii, an interesting example of a long dis- 
used diminutive. 

Td)i or ddii. There is an example of the use of 
this diminutive, in the sense of " abounding in " (see 
p. 19), in the St. Gall manuscript quoted by Zeuss 
(8th century), namely, the word rostan, which is 
given as the equivalent of the Latin rosetum (a rose 
plot), and is derived from the Irish ros, a rose 
(Cxram. Celt., p. 180). It is to some extent used as 
a diminutive at the present day, but always in the 
modern form dan, and it forms part of several words 
used even by the English speaking peasantry. Geo- 
mn is understood in some places to mean a stalk of 
any kind ; and the other diminutive, geosaddn, is 
known in some of the Munster counties, as one of the 
names for the boliaun, hoorihalaun-hcee, or ragweed. 
There is a small red berry growing in heathery places, 
which is called monaddn, i. e., little bog-berry, from 
iuoin, a bog (" Have you seen the ripe monadan 
glisten in Kerry." — Edward Walsh, in the ballad of 
" O'Donovan's daughter"). The word boJgadcui 
[bullogadaun] — a formation from holg, a bell}' — is 
universally used in the south of Ireland to designate 
a little man with a big belly ; and we have also 
diiraddn, already quoted at page 33, from the root 

The old form of this termination is exhibited in 
the ancient personal name Fintan, which has the 
same signification as Finnn and Finigan, viz., little 
fair-haired man ; all three being diminutives ixom.finn., 
white. This name was common both in pagan and 
Christian times ; and there were many saints called 
Fintan, one of whom gave name to Kilfintan (Fin- 
tan's church) in the parish of Street in Longford — 
another to Kilfountain in the parish of Kildrum 


36 Dlmimitives. [chap. n. 

near Ventiy in Kerry, which exhibits the Mun- 
ster way of pronouncing the name (see 1st Ser. 
Part I., c. II.). There is also a place called Ard- 
fintan — Fintan's height — in the parish of Killursa, 
near Headford in Galway. 

The bardic annals record that Lough Sallagh, near 
Dunboyne in Meath, burst forth in the time ofAoifjus 
Ollmuca, one of the pre-Christian kings. The Four 
Masters call it LocJt SaileacJi, and Keating, IjOcJi Sail- 
c/^mr/a/;? (the same name with the addition of the diminu- 
tive) ; both epithets signify the lake of the sallows ; and 
the modern name is derived from the former. Funsha- 
daun in the parish of Killeenadeema in Gralway, signi- 
fying ash-producing land, is derived from fii/)nisc, the 
ash tree, exactly as rostan from ros (p. 35). Near tlie 
village of Clare in Mayo is the townland of Lee- 
daun — a grey spot of land — from Ilath [leea], %t&j. 
Lyradane is the name of a place in the parish of 
Grrenagh in Cork ; there are some townlands in Derry 
and Tyrone called Learclen ; and a little stream 
called Lyardane joins the Shournagh river, three 
miles from Blarney in Cork : all these signify a little 
fork or river-fork, from Jadhav [l}' re], a fork. Gahhal 
[gowl], another word having the same meaning, 
gives name to Grouladane (little fork), a hill in the 
peninsula between the bays of Dunraanus and Ban- 
try. From scrath [scrah], a sward, is formed the 
name of Ardscradaun near the city of Kilkenny, the 
height of the little grassy sward. 

L or //. It appears to me highly probable that 
this — either by itself or with a vowel preceding — is 
an ancient Irish diminutive termination, though I 
have nowhere seen it noticed as such. In one respect 
indeed it is more general than most of those already 
enumerated, for it exists in many languages ; as for 

CHAP. II.] Diminutives. 37 

instance in Latin, in such words as scuttdinn, a little 
shield, from scutum ; //omulus, a dwarf, from //omo, a 
man, &o. The Old High Grerman abounded with 
diminutives in /; and we know that this letter forms 
one of the commonest of Eng-lish diminutive ter- 
minations, giving rise to the numerous class of words 
ending in te, such as thii)ihle hom. thumb ; nipple, from 
nib ; girdle, from (jii'd, &c. It is also quite common 
in Greek, Fi-ench, Spanish, Italian, &c, ; and what is 
still more to the point, in Ebel's Zeuss it is recognised 
as a diminutive in a certain class of Graulish names 
(Grram. Celt., 7(57). 

The fact of its existence as an acknowledged dimi- 
nutive in so many other languages, would of itself 
afford a strong presumption that it had originally a 
diminutive signification in Irish ; and one can hardly 
avoid coming to this conclusion after examining the 
manner in which the termination is used in the fol- 
lowing names. 

It may be questioned whether the ail or all which 
ends so many Irish personal names, was not ori- 
ginally used in a diminutive sense : — as in Cathal 
(now Cahill), from cath, a battle [Cathal, a warrior) ; 
Domnall (now Donnell in the names O'Donnell and 
Macdonnell), from the same root as the Latin domi- 
nus ; Breaml (now Brassil and Brazil) from Breai^, 
which was itself a common personal name. (See on 
this suffix Gram. Celt., 766-9). 

This termination is found in a considerable number 
of local names, whose formation is precisely similar 
to that of many already mentioned as formed from 
other diminutives. From cruadh [croo], hard, is 
derived cruadJiail [cruel], hard land, which takes the 
modern form Cruell in the parish of Aghaboe in 
Queen's County : and this name is derived exactly 

38 Diminutives. [chap. ti. 

like Oruan, (Irish Cruadhdn, same meaning), in the 
parish of Coolaghmore near Callan in Kilkenny, 
which comes from the same root, with the diminutive 
termination an. 

There is a root stur, not found in the published 
dictionaries, though they give the derivatives, siitrric 
and sturrog, both as signifying a hill-summit or pin- 
nacle. From this root are derived the following 
names, with different diminutives, all signifying the 
same thing — a peak or liill top : — Sturgan near the 
northern base of Slieve Grullion in Armagh ; Stui'rin, 
the name of two hills north-east of Lough Derg in 
Donegal ; Sturrakeen in Omey Island off the coast of 
Gralway ; and MuUaghasturrakeen, the name of a 
high hill on the boundary between Tyrone and 
Derry — the summit of tlie pinnacle. Lastly, with 
the diminutive at present under consideration, we 
have " The Sturrel," a remarkable peak-shaped rock 
on the coast of Donegal, near Grien ColumkiJle, rising 
from the sea to the height of 850 feet ; and this is 
also the name of a hill at the head of Mulroy Bay in 
the same county, two miles from Millford. 

I have on other occasions observed how happily 
the old name-formers generally succeeded in desig- 
nating places by their most obvious characteristics — 
every name striking straight for the feature tliat 
most strongly attracted attention ; so that to this 
day, a person moderately skilled in such matters may 
often predict the physical peculiarities or the aspect of 
a place as soon as he hears the name. Nothing could 
be more appropriate in this respect tlian " The 
Dargle," which every one will recognise as the name 
of a beautiful glen near Bray in Wicklow. The 
prevailing rock in the glen is very soft and of a 
reddish colour, sometimes with a yellowish tinge, 

CHAP. II.] Diminutives. 39 

but in several places deepening into a dark pur- 
plish red. The visitor can hardly fail to observe 
this almost as soon as he enters the lower gate, where 
the red stones come to the surface of the path under 
his feet. The reddish colour also pervades the clay, 
which is merely the rock worn down ; and is very 
striking in several spots along the sides of the glen, 
where the clay and rock are exposed, especially after 
rain, which brings out the prevailing hue very vividly. 
The name " Dargle " is similar in formation to 
"Delgany," (seep. ^Q), but with a different diminu- 
tive syllable : — dearg, red ; Leargail, a red little spot. 
Still another name of the same kind, with the dimi- 
nutive an, is Dargan in the county Donegal. But 
we have other parallels to the " Dargle " still more 
complete — in fact the very same name — in Darrigil 
in the parish of Kilgeever, Mayo, and Darrigal near 
Kilmeadan in Waterford, which is quite as remark- 
able for the redness of its surface stones as the Dargle. 
The " Dargle " is also pronounced in three syllables 
{Darrigil) by the old people of Wicklow. 

This diminutive is also introduced through the 
medium of personal names. Cet [Keth] was the 
name of some of the most renowned warriors cele- 
brated in ancient Irish story. Some old chief who 
lived beyond the view of history, gave name to the 
famous Drumcett, (properly Dniini Ceta), translated 
by Adamnan, Dorsum Cete, Keth's ridge or hill, 
where the great convention was held in the year a. d. 
574 ; but the name has been long forgotten, and the 
hill, which is a long mound in Koe Park near New- 
townlimavady, is now called The Mullagh, and some- 
times Daisy Hill (see Reeves's Adamnan, page 37). 
The name Cet still holds its place in Dunkitt in 
Kilkenny, Keth's fortress. The diminutive appears 
in Carrickittle, a remarkable rock giving name to a 

40 Diminutives. ' [chap. ii. 

townland near Kilteely in Limerick, which the Four 
Masters, when recording the erection of a castle on it 
in 1510, by Grarrett, earl of Kildare, call Carraig- 
Cital, Cital's rock (though the absence of the genitive 
inflection here might raise some doubt : Cital, gen. 
Citail?) ; and also in Dunkettle, near Glanmire, a 
little below Cork, which is the same as Dunkitt, only 
with the difference of the diminutive in the personal 

Besides the preceding diminutives, there are others 
of a mixed character, which may be classed together. 
Words ending in /and n often take the letter t be- 
fore suffixes or inflections, which is perhaps to be 
regarded rather as a euphonic insertion than as part 
of the termination. For instance, Coolteen in Sligo 
and Wexford is derived from cnil, a corner — Ctiilfin, 
little corner — where the real diminutive* termination 
appears to be in, not fhi. To the same category may 
be referred Seltan, the name of several places in Lei- 
trim, written by the Four Masters, Sailican, a place 
of sallows (sail) ; Keeltane in the parish of Tully- 
lease in Cork, little wood, or underwood, from coil/, a 
wood ; and Fantane near Borrisoleigh in Tipperary, 
little /«« or slope: in these, the diminutive affix is 
probably an, not fan. 

Murhaun near Drumshambo in Leitrim, seems a 
genuine instance of a diminutive in than, for the 
Irish name is Murt/idn, little 9nur or wall. So also 
in the following names it would appear that the ter- 
mination is tl/h), for no reason can be assigned for 
the presence of the th otherwise than as a part of the 
diminutive : — Bellaheen in the parish of Kilrossanty 
in Waterford, BeilitJnn, little heile. or tree ; Barheen 
in the parish of Annagh, near Ballyhauuis in Mayo, 
little harr or hill-top ; Keenheen in the parish of 
Drumreilly in Leitrim, a beautiful surfaced spot of 

CHAP. 11.] Dimiimtkes. 41 

land, from cnohi [keen], beavitiful. In the year 1581, 
Dermod O'Donovan headed a predatory excursion 
into the territory of Donal O'Sullivan, prince of 
Bear, and drove oif a cvoaght of cattle ; but O'Sulli- 
van overtook the party, took O'Donovan prisoner, 
and hanged him from the branch of an oak tree. 
This event is vividly remembered in tradition ; and 
the tree, whose trunk is still to be seen about four miles 
north-east of Castletown Bearhaven in Cork, is known 
by the name of Dariheen Diarniada, Dermod's little 
oak. This same diminutive (Irish dairithin, from 
dair, an oak) has given name to Derriheen near 
Cappoquin in Waterford. 

In a numerous class of cases, the diminutives are 
preceded by some of the terminations noticed in 
chapter I. We have ;■ combined with an in La varan 
near the village of Kesh in Fermanagh, and in 
Lowran near Borris-in-Ossory in Queen's County, 
both anglicised from LeamJirdn, elm land, from Jeainh 
[lav], elm. it is joined to )ian in Sellernaun in the 
parish of Inishcaltra in Galway, near the shore of 
Lough Derg — Sailcarndn, sallow wood, from sail, a 
sallow ; and the same letter combines with off in 
Dooroge near Ballyboghil in Dublin, black land 
[duhJi, black) ; which is also the name of a rivulet 
("black little stream") flowing into the sea two miles 
north-east of Tara Hill in Wexford. 

The diminutive in is very often joined with r, of 
which Cloghereen near Killarney, from doch, a stone, 
is a very apt example (First Series). Cranareen, the 
name of places in Wicklow and Mayo, signifies a 
place full of small trees, or a small plantation, from 
crann, a tree ; and there is a little lake a mile from 
Clifden in Gal way, called Lough Acrannereen, the 
lake of the small trees. Flugheriue — a wet little spot 

42 Diminutives. [chap. ii. 

of land, from fliuch, wet— is the name of a pool from 
which flows a stream, in the townland of Bally- 
eormick, parish of Clonenagh, Queen's County ; Cuing- 
areen, in the parish of Columkille, Longford, a 
rabbit warren, from ctiiinn, a rabbit. Similar in for- 
mation to those is the well-known name of Skibbe- 
reen in Cork. It is situated at the mouth of the 
river Hen, on a little creek much frequented by 
small vessels, formerly — and still in some places — 
called scihs (Eng. skiff); a.nd Seihir in. as the place 
is called in Irish, means a place frequented by slabs 
or boats. It exactly corresponds in meaning with 
Cotteenagh, the name of a little island in the river 
Shannon, near Shannon Bridge, below Clonmacnoise, 
which signifies a place frequented by little cots or 
boats. It is to be observed, however, that the word 
sliib is not now at least applied to a boat in the neigh- 
bourhood of Skibbereen ; and this fact may lead 
some to doubt the correctness of the etymology. 

In Fetherneen (parish of Kilvarnet, Sligo) we 
have a union of both » and r with the diminutive, 
the name signifying a little feacl or streamlet ; and 
it corresponds in formation with Fetheruagh in 
Armagh, near Pointzpass, which means a place 
abounding in little brooks. 

Observe the rich growth of terminations — branch 
on branch — in Sillahertane, which is the name of two 
townlands, one near Dunmanway in Cork, and the 
other in the parish of Kilgarvan in Kerry, on the 
road from Kenmare to Macroom. The Irish form, 
which the English very well represents in sound, is 
Sdileachartdn, all from the simple trunk, sai/, a sallow ; 
we have in succession each or ach, r, f, and the dimi- 
nutive an ; and the whole signifies a spot producing 
ozier or sallow trees. It a})pears probable that in 

CHAP. II.] BiniinuUves. 43 

this name the combination rt — whether compounded 
of r and t, each in its separate sense, or forming one 
indivisible tei'minatiou — has a collective signification ; 
just as it has in the word coiiairf, which is applied in 
the south to a pack of hounds {ck, gen, con, abound) ; 
from which is derived Coolnaconarty, the corner 
(ci(i7) of the pack of hounds, a place in the parish of 
Kilmeen, five or six miles south-east of Dunmanway, 
which the inhabitants say was formerly a usual place 
of meeting on hunting days. The combination is also 
found in a name preserved in the Annals of Lough 
Key at a. d. 1192, viz. Raih-cuanartaif/h (the fort 
of the hounds), the second part of which is derived 
from ciian (a litter of whelps) , by the addition of the 
two postfixes aii and ach. 

Exactly similar in formation to this last is the 
name of Mangerton mountain near Killarney. The 
correct form is Maiujartach, for so we find it written 
in several old Irish documents ; which has been re- 
cently corrupted by changing ach to the diminutive 
an. The signification of the name depends on the 
meaning of the root many, and this is doubtful. In 
Cormac's Grlossary and other authorities, niang is 
explained a fawn ; and if this be its meaning here, 
Mcoigartach would mean the mountain of the fawns. 
I am inclined to think, however, that mang is only 
another form of mong, signifying literally the hair of 
the head, but often applied in a secondary sense to 
long grass ; just as govt, a field, was anciently often 
written r/c/v/; _/b//, hair, /«//; mor, great, nidr ; &c. 
If this be correct the name will mean a mountain 
covered with long hair-like grass. There are three 
circumstances that support this interpretation : — first, 
in the ancient historical tale called the " Battle of 
Moylena," this very term mong is applied to the 

44 Borroiced Words. [chap. hi. 

mountain ; for it is designated Mangartha mhong- 
ruadh — Mangerton of the red mong or hair (Battle-of 
Moylena, p. 25) ; secondly, tlie flat moory summit 
of the mountain is actually covered with a growth of 
long coarse grass — the very kind of grass that inong 
is usually applied to; thirdly, whereas inaiig, a fawn, 
as far as I am aware, is not found in any other name 
in all Ireland, mong, as applied to long grass, and 
its derivatives mongach and mongan, are common in 
names all over the country, of which many examples 
will be found in chapter XIX. 



Whenever two nations speaking different languages 
have intimate intercourse with each other for any 
considerable time, there is sure to be a mutual inter- 
change of words ; for each race borrows from the other 
certain terms which in course of time become incor- 
porated with the language that adopts them. In this 
manner every language becomes mixed with foreign 
words ; cliff'erent languages exhibiting different powers 
and degrees of assimilation. 

During the long intercourse of the English and 
Irish i^opulations in Ireland, there has been a good 
deal of interchange of this kind, though not I think 
so much as we find in other countries under similar 
circumstances. I propose to examine a few such 
words, some borrowed from Irish into English, some 
from English into Irish ; but I will limit the inquiry 
to those that find their wav into local nomenclature. 

cHAr. III.] Borroiccd Words. 45 

Moreover I do not intend to go back to very early 
times ; I will illustrate only such words as have re- 
cently passed from one langniage into the other, or 
are now in process of transfer, and of naturalisation. 
A good many of the Irish words retained by the 
English speaking people are only used locally ; but 
though they are still circumscribed, they are holding 
their place among the people, and are gaining ground 
in point of extent ; for the very good reason that 
they express exactly ideas not so well expressed by 
any synonymous English words known to the people. 
And every one acquainted with the history of the 
English language, or indeed of any other language, 
knows well how a word of[ this kind — provided it is 
a good word, and hits the idea straight on the head 
— though it may be at first spoken perhaps only in 
a single valley, spreads slowly and gradually over a 
larger and larger surface, till at length it becomes 
recognised by the whole nation, and has its citi^en- 
sliip acknowledged by being placed in the columns 
of dictionaries. Occasionally too, from some acci- 
dental circumstance, a word borrowed from a strange 
language, or not borrowed at all, but invented, springs 
at once into sudden and universal use. Some of the 
terms here illustrated are used only in a part of Ire- 
land; others are known nearly over the wliole country ; 
a few again of the anglicised Irish words have found 
their- way across the channel, and these are sure of a 
permanent place. To this last class belongs the 
five first words in my list. 

Bog. The word bog has long been used by Eng- 
lish writers who have treated of Ireland ; and it had 
found its way into the literary language of England 
at least as early as the time of Elizabeth, for it is 
used in its proper sense by Shakespeare, as well as 

46 Borrowed Words. [chap. ni. 

by Milton and Bunyan. It is now an acknowledged 
word in the English language, and is beginning to 
be understood in England almost as well as the Eng- 
lish equivalent, peat or peat moss. Bog as it stands 
is Irish ; it signifies soft ; and it is still a living word, 
and in constant use, by Irish speakers. In this ori- 
ginal sense it is found in several local names ; such 
as Meenbog in Donegal and Tyrone, soft mountain 
meadow or meen ; Aghabog, a parish in Monaghan, 
Achad/i-bog, soft field ; Maynebog in the parish of Agh- 
macartin Queen's County, soft field {maighin). 

The original word hog is not now used in the 
native Irish, to signify a bog or peat moss ; it has 
been quite supplanted by the derivative hogach, which 
is in very general use in this sense, just as smolach 
has taken the place of smol (see p. 5). This word 
gives names to many places now called Boggagh, 
Bogagh, and Boggy ; Boggyheary near Swords in 
Dublin, Bogach-aedJtaire, the shepherd's bog. In the 
end of names it forms some such terminations as 
^oggy, I'oggy, or rogy (b aspirated to v in the two 
last) ; as in Clonavogy in Monaghan, the meadow 
of the bog ; Portavogie in the Ards in Down, the 
port or landing place of the bog. From the diminu- 
tive bogdii (little bog or soft place) are derived the 
names of many places now called Boggan and Bog- 

Bother. It appears to me obvious that bother is 
merely the Irish bodhar, deaf, although I know very 
well that a different origin has been assigned to it. 
For, first, it is in universal use — it is literally in 
every one's mouth — in Ireland. Secondly, what is 
more to the purpose, while it is used, as it is in Eng- 
land, to signify annoyance or trouble, it has another 
meaning in Ireland which is not known in England, 

CHAP. III.] Borrowed Words. 47 

namely, deaf, the same as the original word hodhar ; 
and this is obviously its primary meaning. A per- 
son who is either partly or wholly deaf is said to be 
bothered ; and this usage is perfectly familiar in every 
part of Ireland, from Dublin to the remotest dis- 
tricts — among the educated as well as among the 
illiterate. The word indeed in this sense, is the 
foundation of a proverb : — you are said to " turn the 
bothered ear" to a person when you do not wish to 
hear what he says, or grant his request. Moreover, 
so well are the two words bother and bodhar under- 
stood to be identical, that in the colloquial language 
of the peasantry they are always used to translate 
each other. 

As to the English pronunciation, it is merely a 
case of what is so familiar in Irish names — the re- 
storation of an aspirated consouant, which I have 
already fully explained and illustrated (1st Ser. 
Part I., c. 2). Bodh'tr, pronounced in Irish, bower, 
is called in English, bother, exactly as Odhar [ower] 
is made Odder (see this in index) ; as the river Dothra 
[Dohra] near Dublin, is called the Dodder ; and as the 
word bothar [boher], a road, is often sounded bothijr or 
batter. I do not see how any one, with these evi- 
dences before him, can hesitate to acknowledge that 
bother is an Irish word. 

The word hodhar is used in local names, and in a 
very singular way too. What did our ancestors 
mean when they called a glen deaf ? It is very hard 
to answer this question satisfactorily ; but it is cer- 
tain that there are several glens in different parts of 
the coimtry called Glenbower, deaf glen. There is 
one in Kilkenny, three miles north of Piltown ; one — 
a fine glen two miles long — at the base of Slieve- 
namon in Tipperary, two miles east of Kilcash ; a 

48 Borrowed Words. [chap. hi. 

third in the parish of Kilbarron in Tipperary, near 
Lough Derg ; a fourth in the parish of Offerlaue in 
Queen's County, west of Mountrath ; a fifth which 
gives name to a small lake at the base of Slieve 
Beagh mountain, south of Clogher in Tyrone ; and 
a sixth — a pretty wooded glen — near the village of 
Killeagh, west of Youghal in Cork. In this last 
there is a peculiarity, which perhaps gives the key to 
the .explanation of the names of all : — viz., it has a 
fine echo, " affording," as Smith remarks (Hist. 
Cork, I., 156), "seven or eight repercussions from 
the same sound." If this be the origin of the name, . 
perhaps the glen was so called because you have to 
speak loudly to it, and you get a loud-voiced reply, 
exactly as happens when you speak to a deaf person. 

But will this explanation apply to other places 
designated by hodJtar. There is a " Drehidbower 
Bridge," {droidicad, a bridge) over a small river in 
Clare, four miles north of lullaloe ; which the people 
sa}^ was so called because it was built by a deaf man 
in 1799 — but I confess I have not much faith in the 
explanation. Illaunbower — deaf island — is the name 
of a little islet in Lough Mask ; and we have Car- 
tronbower {cartron, a quarter of land) in the parish 
of Ballintober in Mayo. In Lenabower, near the 
village of Barna, west of Gralway, and Curraghbower, 
a little south of the Black water, five miles west of 
Mallow, Icna, signifies a marshy meadow, and cur- 
ragh, a marsh ; but whether the marshiness of these 
places had anything to do with the names, I must 
leave the reader to conjecture. 

In the parish of Kilgarvan in Mayo, there is a 
little river taking its name from an old mill, called 
MuUenbower ; and if one mill is found to be deaf, 
there seems no good reason why another should not 

CHAP. III.] Borrowed Words. 49 

be blind, whicli is the case with Mullenkeagh 
{caech, blind) near the village of Cloghjordan in the 
north of Tipperary. "We may conjecture that these 
two names were given to old mills that had ceased 
to be used, and had fallen into ruin. 

Tory. The two terms Whig and Tory, like many 
other class names, were originally applied in an 
opprobrious sense ; they were nicknames, which 
gradually lost their offensive flavour when their 
origin was forgotten. The word icJtig is another 
form of irliey, and it is used to this day in Scotland, 
and in the north of Ireland, to denote thick sour 
milk or sour whey ; but as the word does not come 
within the scope of this book, it is not necessary to 
trace its history further here. Tory is an Irish word, 
anglicised phonetically like most other Irish terms ; 
and the original form is toruidJie, the pronunciation 
of which is very well preserved in the modern spell- 
ing, tory. Its root is toir [tore], pursuit ; and 
tdrnidhe is literally a pursuer — one who hunts or 
chases. There is still another derivative, toruidJi- 
cacJit, an abstract noun signifying the act of pur- 
suing ; and all three terms are in common use in the 
Irish language. We have, for instance, a well- 
known Irish romantic tale called " Tdruidheacht 
Dhiarmada agm Ghrainne^'' the pursuit of Dermod 
and Grraine. 

In the time of the Irish plantations of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries, great numbers of 
the native Irish who were dispossessed of their lands, 
took to the hills, woods, and bogs, and formed them- 
selves into bands under the leadership of their prin- 
cipal men. From their wild retreats they made 
descents at every opportunity on the open country, 
di'ove off the cattle of the settlers, and seized on all 


50 Borroiced Words. . [chap. iit. 

sorts of movaHe property that they could lay their 
hands on. These men were called tories — hunters 
or pursuers ; for they chased everything — the wild 
animals on which they partly subsisted, the herds of 
the settlers, and the settlers themselves if they 
chanced to come in their way. The settlers on their 
part combined for mutual protection, and vigorously 
retaliated ; and this social war was carried on with- 
out intermission, in some districts, for a long series 
of years. Many traditionary stories of those dis- 
turbed and exciting times are still current among 
the peasantry. In course of time the tories became 
mere freebooters, and stringent laws were made for 
their suppression ; so that at length the word torif 
lost its original signification among the English 
speaking people, and came to signify an outlaw — 
the first step in its singular change of meaning. 

It is believed, according to a statement of Defoe, 
to have been first introduced into England by Titus 
Gates ; for a story went round that certain tories 
were to be brought over from Ireland to assassinate 
Gates and some of his supporters ; and after this he 
was in the habit of calling every man who opposed 
him, even in conversation, a tory ; " till at last the 
word tory became popular." The two terms, whig 
and tory, came into general use as political designa- 
tions about the year 1680 ; but they had previously, 
as Swift expresses it, been " pressed into the service 
of many successions of parties, with very different 
ideas attached to them." 

The word tory is still retained among the peasan- 
try of every part of Ireland in the sense of an outlaw 
or a miscreant of any kind ; and it is _quite usual to 
hear a nurse call a naughty child a " young tory." 
They have a nursery rhyme which preserves this 
sense very vividly ; it is heard, with some varia,- 

CHAP. III.] Borrowed Words. 51 

tions, in all parts of the country; and Crofton 
Croker has given a version of it in his " Researches 
in the South of Ireland." 

" I'll tell you a story about Johnny M'Gory, 
AVho went to the wood and killed a tory ; 
Brought him home and ate his supper; 
Went to the wood and killed another." 

In the sense of a hunter or outlaw the word ioraidhe 
is found in a few local names, none of which ap- 
pear, liowever, to be of any antiquity.- We have 
two hills in Ireland called Tory Hill ; and in each 
case the name is of modern origin, and has super- 
seded an older name. One lies to the east of Mullin- 
avat in Kilkenny ; and it received its name from 
Edmund Denn, a tory, who is celebrated among the 
peasantry to this day. He was one of the family of 
Denn who owned Tory Hill ; and after he was out- 
lawed he lived in a cave on the hill, in which the 
people still show his bed. The old name of this hill 
was SUahh-O-gCniinn or Slieve Igrine, the mountain 
of the ancient territory or barony of Igrine, in which 
it was situated, and which was itself so called from 
the old tribe of Ul Cruiiui who formerly held it ffor 
the presence of the g, see chapter yiii.). The 
other Tory Hill lies near Groom in Limerick, but I 
cannot tell who the particular tory was that gave it 
the name : perhaps it was so called from having 
been a haunt of the tories. Its ancient name was 
C noc-droma-A ssail [Knockdromassil], the hill of the 
ridge of Assal — Assal being the old name of the 
territory lying round the hill. 

Ballytory in Wexford signifies the tory's town- 
land. Near Clogher in Tyrone is a place called 
Hatory, a name anglicised from Rath-toniidhe, the 
fort of the tory or outlaw ; and here no doubt, in 


62 Borrotoecl Words. [chap. iit. 

old days, some tory made his lair in the old rath, 
and sheltered and defended himself within the en- 

Orrery. The instrument called an orrery, for show- 
ing the various motions of the planets and satellites, 
took its name from the title of the family of Boyle, earls 
of Orrery; and the following is the commonly received 
account of the circumstance that brought the word 
into circulation. The instrument was invented about 
the year 1700 by Greorge Graham, who gave it into 
the hands of a workman to have it packed up and 
sent to Prince Eugene ; but before packing it, this 
man made a copy of it, which he sold to the earl of 
Orrery, without making any mention of Grraham or 
his invention. The machine sent to Boyle came 
under the notice of Sir Eichard Steele, who referred 
to it in one of his papers as a very ingenious instru- 
ment, and called it an orrery in honour of the earl, 
a name which was at once adopted, and has been 
since retained. 

Orrery, from which the Boyles took one of their titles, 
is an ancient territory in Munster, represented by the 
modern barony of Orrery in the north of the county 
of Cork, lying round the town of Charleville. The 
old form of the name is Orhraige, usually spelled 
with both the h and the g aspirated, and pronounced 
Orcerij, which was easily softened down to Orrery. 
It was originally a tribe name ; but, in accordance with 
a custom very usual in Ireland (see 1st Ser. Part I., 
c. II.) the people gave their name to the territory. 
Cormac MacCullenan, in his Glossary, written in the 
ninth century, states that they took the name of 
Orhraige from an ancestor named Orb or Orhh ; 
Orhraige meaning the desceadants of Orh (Cor. Grl. 
voce, Orb : raige, posterity — 1st Ser. Part I., c ii.). 
O'Donovan, in his commentary on this part of the 

cnw. iii.J Jjorrowed Worda. 53 

Glossary, tells us tliat " Orhh was the ancestor of the 
people called Orhhraighe, who were descended from 
Fereidhech, son of Fergus MacKoigh, king of Ulster 
in the first century ; " but I have not been able to 
find any further account of this old chieftain. Who- 
ever he was, however, his name now forms one of 
the varied elements in the curious mosaic of the 
English language, and has thus become immortalised 
in a manner that would greatly astonish him if he 
could be made aware of it. 

Shamrock. The trefoil, white clover, or trifolium 
rcpcnf;, is designated by the Irish word seamar 
[shammer]. But the diminutive seamardg [sham- 
meroge : see p. 28] is the term most generally used ; 
and it has settled down into the word shamrock, 
which is now found in English dictionaries, and is 
beginning to be understood wherever the English 
language is spoken. 

We find it stated by several Anglo-Irish writers 
that in former times the Irish occasionally ate the 
shamrock. Spenser, for instance, mentions that in 
time of famine the j)Oor people who were reduced to 
the last stage of starvation were glad to eat water- 
cresses and shamrocks ; Fynes Morrison has a pas- 
sage of much the same import ; while Thomas Dinely, 
who made a tour through Ireland in 1675, tells us 
til at the people ate shamroges to cause a sweet 
breath. This has led some persons to believe tliat 
the true shamrock is the oxalis acetocella, or wood 
sorrel. I see no reason, however, why these pas- 
sages should not refer to the white trefoil, which is 
quite as fit to be used as a food-herb as wood sorrel ; 
for I think we may assume that neither cress nor 
shamrocks were eaten in any quantity except under 
pressure of extreme hunger, but only used with 
other food just as water-cress is usedat the present day. 

54 Borrowed Words. [chap. ii. 

Moreover seamar and seamrog are given in Irish 
dictionaries as meaning trifoHuni rcpciis, while wood- 
sorrel is designated by sainhadh-coiUe and scamwg. 
And as corroborating the dictionary explanations, 
we find the compound scoith-sJiemnrach (translated by 
O'Donovan "abounding with flowers and shamrocks:" 
scoih, a flower) a favourite term among Irish writers 
to designate a green, open plain. The old records 
for instance, tell us that F'mcha Finscofhach {FiacJta 
of the white flowers) king of Ireland before the 
Christian era, was so called because " every plain in 
Ireland was scoifh-.sI/eaDnrich in his time :" and the 
same terra is used by the Irish poet,FerfeasaO'Cainte, 
about the year 1G17 (Misc. Celt. Soc. 1849, p. 355), 
and by the writer of the Life of St. Scuithin (O'Cl. 
Cal. p. 5). In these passages it cannot be the wood- 
sorrel that is meant, for it is not produced in suffi- 
cient abundance, and it does not grow in open plains, 
but in shady places. 

It is not easy to determine the origin of the Irish 
custom of wearing a bunch of shamrocks in the hat 
on St. Patrick's day — the 17th of March. Accord- 
ing to popular belief it commemorates an incident 
in the life of St. Patrick : — that on a certain occa- 
sion, when he was explaining tlie mystery of the 
Trinity to the pagan Irish, he took up a single 
shamrock and pointed out the three leaves growing 
from one stem, to illustrate the doctrine of three 
Persons in one God. But this story must be an in- 
vention of recent times, for we find no mention of it 
in any of the old Lives of the saint. Neither are 
we able to say that tlie custom itself is of any higher 
antiquity ; for though it is now observed by the 
Irish race all over the world, and though it is men- 
tioned by a few writers of the last two or three 

CHAP. III.] Borroiced Words. 55 

hundred years — as for instance by Thomas Dinely 
in 1675, who describes how the people wore crosses 
and shamrocks on St. Patrick's day — yet we find no 
allusion to it in ancient Irish writings. 

There are not many local names derived from this 
word, and I have found none recorded in any an- 
cient written authority. It appears in its primary 
form in Aghnashammer near Ilosslea in Fermanagh, 
Achadh-na-scamar, the field of the trefoils ; in Moher- 
nashammer on the brink of the Shannon, near Ter- 
monbarry in Roscommon {iitofliar, either a ruin or a 
thicket) ; and in Knocknashammer in Cavan and 
Sligo, which in the latter county has the correct 
alias name of Cloverhill. The diminutive is more 
common : there are townlands in Cork and Limerick 
called Coolnashamroge, the corner of the sham- 
rocks ; Grorteenshamrogue near Fethard in Tipper- 
ary, shamrock little field ; and Knocknashamroge near 
Ilacketstown in Wicklow, the same as Knockna- 

Bavm-hracJi. You will not see a confectioner's 
shop window in any part of Dublin, on Hallow-eve, 
without a handbill announcing a plentiful supply of 
harm-bracks with a ring in each. This word barm- 
brack is now applied in many parts of Ireland to a 
sweet cake mixed with currants and raisins ; and we 
may safely prophesy that it will ultimately fight its 
way into the columns of English dictionaries. The 
original and correct word — written phonetically — is 
barrccn-hrack, which is still used among the English- 
speaking people of the south of Ireland ; it has been 
changed to bariu-brack by that process of fallacious 
popular etymology described in First Series (Part I., 
0. II.) ; and the altered term was all the more readily 
accepted inasmuch as the word harm seems the right 

56 Borroived Words. [chap. iil. 

word in the right place. The Irish word represented in 
sound by hanroi, is hairghin, which signifies a cake ; 
the old Irish form is hairgen, y^hioh glosses panis in 
the Zeuss manuscripts ; brack — Irish hreac — means 
speckled ; and a harreen-hrack is literally "a speckled 
cake" — speckled with raisins and currants. 

A piece of land approaching a circular shape is 
sometimes called hairghin; and in this manner the 
word has found its way into local nomenclature. The 
complete word is exhibited in Barreen, in the parish 
of Balraheen in Kildare. If the shape approach a 
semicircle, the place is sometimes designated by the 
compound Uatli-hhairghin [lavarreen] meaning half a 
cake — loath., half ; which is pretty common as a name 
for fields and small denominations ; and this is the 
origin of the names of tlietownlandsof Lavareenand 
Lawarreen in Leitrim, Clare, and Mayo. As for the 
word hreac, it will be treated of in chapter xvii., 
and need not be further noticed here. 

So far regarding Irish words adopted into English. 
Our local nomenclature also exhibits a number of 
words borrowed from English into Irish ,* and the 
remainder of this chapter will be devoted to the 
illustration of a few words of this kind. 

Parson. Of the two English words person and 
parson, we know that the first is derived from the 
■ Latin persona, and according to some, the second is 
derived from the same word. We have in Irish two 
corresponding words. One, ^jcrso or 2)ersu., genitive 
jjcrsan, meaning ^person or an individual, is merely 
the Latin 2)ersona, borrowed ; but it was borrowed 
at a very early age, for we find it in the very oldest 
manuscripts, such as those quoted by Zeuss, Lcbor 
na hUidhre, &.G. The other, ^jcarsw;? !_parsoon], cor- 
responding with the English parson, is used in the 

CHAP. III.] JBorroiccd Words. 57 

colloquial language to signify the priest of a parish, 
a clergymau who has the care of souls. Some would 
perhaps consider ihui pcarsiin is the representative of 
the ancient loan word jjcrso ; but I think it has been 
borrowed direct from the English j)arsoii in its special 
sense. The termination u)i is indeed presumptive 
evidence of this, for when it occurs in Irish, it gene- 
rally marks a word taken straight from the English. 
We know that in Ireland the English word parson 
has lately been restricted to the rectors of the Estab- 
lished Church ; but pcarsi'tn was applied to a Roman 
Catholic parish priest, showing that it was borrowed 
before parson began to be used in its special Irish 
sense ; though in later times, it has begun, like j^ar- 
soii, to be restricted to Protestant clergymen. 

There is a parish in Limerick four miles east of 
the city, taking its name from a townland called 
Carrigparson, the rock of the parish priest, probably 
mai'king the spot where a priest lived, or perhaps 
where Mass used to be celebrated in times gone by. 
This name has been in use for more than 300 years ; 
and the rock is to be seen close by the ruin of the old 
church, not far from the present cliapel. Ballyfar- 
soon near Monasterevin in Kildare — Bailc-an-phcar- 
suiii, the town of the parson — probably got its name 
from being tenanted by a parish priest ; there is a 
place called Monaparson, the parson's bog, on the 
Clyda river, just by the railway, four miles south of 
Mallow ; and Knockapharsoon {hnocli, a hill) lies 
four miles north of Fethard in Tipperary. 

EarL larla [eerla] an earl, is a word that was 
borrowed into Irish at the time of the Anglo-Norman 
invasion ; it is in constant use in the annals, for the 
old historians, in recording events in which the great 
Anglo-Norman lords were concerned, did not trans- 

58 Borrowed Words. [chap. hi. 

late the word carl, but simply transferred it with a 
slight change of form. 

The Irish pronunciation is well preserved in Sjerla 
near Dungannon in Tyrone, Suid/ie-iaria, the earl's 
seat or residence. So also Kilmacanearla near Bal- 
lingarry in Limerick, the church of the earl's son ; 
Annaghearly, the name of a lake and townland four 
miles north-east of Carrick-on-Shannon, the earl's 
annagh or marsh ; and with the same meaning, 
Curraghanearla near Mallow in Cork ; Tominearly 
in Wexford, the earl's tomb. The word returns to 
the English form in Coolanearl in the parish of Red- 
cross in Wicklow, the hill-back of the earl ; and in 
Knockearl near the village of Cloghjordan in Tip- 
perary, the earl's hill. 

Forest. The word foraois [furreesh], which 
0'E,eilly and Peter O'Connell explain a forest, a fox 
cover, the haunt of wild beasts, is I believe a simple 
transfer of the English ^oxdi forest. It occurs in the 
name of a little river flowing through the hamlet of 
Bellanagare in Roscommon, now called Owen-na- 
foreesha, the river of the forest ; and in Cornafurrish, 
in the parish of Lemanaghan in King's County, the 
round hill of the forest. 

StaJie, Stack, Stag. We have in Irish the word 
stdcadh [stawka], which is used in two distinct senses 
to signify both a stake and a stack, and which I 
believe to be borrowed from these words, or perhaps 
from the northern word which is the origin of both. 
The former signification is exhibited in Stackarnagh, 
the name of a townland west of Letterkenny in 
Donegal, which signifies a place full of stakes or 
stumps of trees ; a name which exactly resembles 
Smutternagh both in formation and meaning (com- 
pound suffix rnach : page 16). 

CHAP. III.] Borrowed Words. 59 

In a great many j)laces all round the coast, tall, 
towerlike rocks, standing isolated in the sea, which 
are designated by the words cruach, ben,&G., in Irish, 
are called stacks in English ; but by a curious cus- 
tom this is generally changed to the word stags. 
The Stags which form so prominent a feature of 
Ireland's Eye as seen from Howth, are an excellent 
example ; and other illustrations will be found at 
various points of the coast. Similar rocks are also 
called stacks on parts of the coast of Scotland, espe- 
cially round the Shetland islands ; and in noticing 
these, Worsae traces the word to the Old Norse 

Park. Pairc [park] means a field or enclosure, 
and it is of course the same as the English and 
German word park. It exists also in Welsh, but it 
is probable that both the Welsh and the Irish bor- 
rowed it from the Teutonic dialects. In Irish it 
generally means merely a field, having nothing of 
the modern restricted application of the English 
Y>'or(\. park ; and in this sense it is a very usual com- 
ponent of local names. This word forms or begins 
the names of about 170 townlands. As examples 
may be taken — Parknaglantane near the city of 
Cork, Pairc-na-ngleanntdn, the field of the small 
glens ; Parkatleva in Galway and Mayo, Pairc-a- 
tsleibhe, the field of the sliabh or mountain ; Parkna- 
gappul near Dungarvan, the field of the cappals or 
horses ; Tinnapark in Kilkenny and Wicklow, Tigh- 
na-pairce, the house of tlie field. As this is a word 
not liable to be disguised by corrupt changes of 
form, and is therefore easily recognised, it will be un- 
necessary to give further illustrations. 

Camp. The Irish campa is nothing more than the 
English word camp, with a vowel sound added on to 

60 Borroioed Words. Tchap. iii 


the end. The Four Masters use the word at a. d. 
1548, when they record the erection of a large court 
then called Caiiipa in Leix, which was the germ 
round which grew the town afterwards called Mary- 

Several sites of former encampments still retain 
as their name the English word canip, which in 
most cases first passed from English into Ii-ish, and 
was afterwards restored to the correct English spell- 
ing. In other cases the word retains an Irish form, 
as in Bawnacowma, six miles south of Limerick 
city, the hau-n or green field of the camp. Cam- 
plagh near Kesh in Fermanagh exhibits the word 
with the suffix kich (p. 5), the name meaning the 
same as the original root — an encampment. 

Spur. I am not aware of any evidence to show 
that the ancient Irish used spurs; indeed Gfiraldus 
Cambrensis expressly states that they did not : — 
" Also in riding they do not use either saddles, boots, 
or spurs ; but only carry a rod in their hand having a 
crook at the upper end, with which they urge on 
and guide their horses." (Top. Hib. Dist. III., 
c. lOj, This is to some extent corroborated by 
the writer of the Irish account of the battle of 
Clontarf, who states that when Machnordha, king 
of Leinster, left Brian Bern's palace of Kincora, in 
anger, soon before the battle of Clontarf, he drove 
his horse with a yew rod. And several other pas- 
sages might be cited from the Brehon Laws and other 
Irish writings, in which horse-rods are mentioned. 

We have however the word spor, a spur, in Irish : 
it is used for instance in the Annals of Lough Key, 
Yol. II., p. 52, where it is recorded that a certain 
chieftain died from a wound by his own spor ; and it is 
still heard in the colloquial language. But as it is 

CHAP. IV.] Poetical and Fancy Names. 61 

probable that the use of the spur was introduced 
from England, so I think it equally likely that the 
word was borrowed from the English language. 

This word spor occurs in a few local names ; but 
it is not easy to account for its presence : probably 
places are called from spurs on account of some 
peculiarity of shape. I suppose some pointed rock 
gave name to Knoekaspur near Cloghjordan in 
Tipperary. Groulaspurra is a well known suburb of 
Cork, the name of which signifies the fork {goblial) 
of the spur ; and there is a towuland near Castle- 
lyons in Cork called Spurree, which is merely the 
plural sjjoraid/ie, spurs or pointed rocks. 



In an early stage of society, the people are in general 
very close observers of external nature. The sights 
and sounds by which they are surrounded — the 
shapes and colours of hills, glens, lakes, and streams, 
the solemn voices of winds, waves, and waterfalls, 
the babbling of streams, the singing, chirping, and 
chattering of birds, the cries of various animals — all 
these attract the observation and catch the fancy of 
a simple and primitive people. The Irish peasantry 
were, and are still, full of imagination to a degree 
perhaps beyond those of most other countries. Many 
think, indeed, that this faculty is rather too highly 
developed, to the exclusion of other qualities less 
fascinating but more solid and useful. But be this 

62 Poetical and Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

as it may, it is certain that an examination of our 
local name sj^stem will show that the people who 
built it up were highly imaginative and sensitively 
alive to the natural phenomena passing around them. 
In the present chapter I will give some specimens of 
names exhibiting this tendeucy ; but many others, 
equally appropriate and striking, will be found 
scattered through this volume and the foi'mer one. 

When we find that the various Irish words which 
signify beautiful, lovely, fine, pretty, &c., are in con- 
stant use in tlie formation of local names, the obvious 
inference is that the people had a vivid perception of 
natural beauty, and dwelt with admiration and plea- 
sure on the loveliuess of the various objects among 
which they lived and moved. And they mani- 
fested this delight in a most natural and unaffected 
way, by bestowing a name that expressed exactly 
what they felt. This is the more remarkable, inas- 
much as the appreciatioti of landscape, particularly 
of the landscape of mountains, woods, rocks, and 
precipices, seems to be very much of late growth 
among the people of Europe. A new sense has been 
gradually developed, which, however, judging from 
local names, appears to have been possessed in a 
remarkable degree, and at a comparatively early 
period, by the simple peasantry of this country. 

One of these Irish words is caein [keen], which 
signifies, in its application to natural objects, pleasant, 
delightful, or lovely ; it is very frequently met with, 
and generally assumes the anglicised form heen. 
Killykeen is the name of some places in the county 
Cavan, which is modernised from Coill-chaein, pleasant 
or delightful wood ; Keenrath — pleasant fort — is a 
place by the Bandon river, four miles above Dan- 
manway. There is a parish in the north of Tippe- 

CHAP. IV.] Poetical and Fancy Names. 63 

rary now called Loughkeen, which is a very deceptive 
name, seeming to indicate the presence of a pretty 
lake. But the Four Masters mention it as one of 
the resting places of O'Sullivan Bear in his cele- 
brated retreat from Dunhoy to the north in 1602 ; 
and here we find the true na.nie, Ba /ie-achaklh-chaein, 
the town of the beautiful field, which is pronounced 
by the old people, who still retain the name, Bal- 
loughkeen, and is now always called by the shorter 
and very incorrect name Loughkeen. Sometimes 
this word assumes other forms, as in the case of Urum- 
quin in Tyrone, the correct name of which, as written 
by the Four Masters, is Druiin-cJtaein, pleasant hill- 
ridge. Elsewhere this Irish name is anglicised more 
correctly Drumkeen and Dromkeen, which are the 
names of fifteen townlands in various counties ; Agha- 
drumkeen in Monaghan, the field iachadh) of the 
beautiful ridge. There are two townlands in Clare 
called Drumquin ; but here the Irish form is Druim- 
Chuinn, Conn's ridge. The term is very much dis- 
guised in Balleeghan, the name of atowuland on the 
shore of Lough Swilly in Donegal, near Manor 
Cunningham, containing the ruins of an ancient 
church, the name of which is written by the Four 
Masters Baile-aighidh-chaein [Balleeheen], the town 
of the beautiful face or surface. There are other places 
of the same name in Donegal, which probably come 
from the same original. 

Another word of similar import, which is still 
more frequently met with in names, is aeihlrimi 
[eevin], signifying joyous, delightful, or beautiful. 
It is written aimin by Cormac Mac Cullenau, in his 
Glossary, and is correctly compared by him with 
Lat. amwnum. It usually occurs in the end of names 
in some such form as ccin or eevan ; and it is well 

64 Poetical and Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

illustrated in Kuockeevan in the parish of New- 
ohapel near Clonmel in Tipperary, the delightful 
hill ; Rathevin in Queen's County, beautiful fort ; 
Derryevin near Ballyjamesduff in Cavan {dern/, an 
oak wood) ; and Drameevin in the parish of Kilto- 
raght in Clare, beautiful hill-ridge. 

Alainn [awliu] signifies bright or lovely ; old Irish 
form, as found in the St. Gall manuscript quoted by 
Zeuss, cdind. It assumes several forms in angli- 
cised names, none of them difficult to recognise. 
There is a townland near the village of Grilford in 
Down, called Moyallen, i. e. Magh-dlainn, beautiful 
plain ; and near Dromore in the same county is 
another place called Kinallen, beautiful head or hill 
(ceann) . The sound of the word is better preserved 
in Derraulin in the parish of Corcomohide in Lime- 
rick, Boire-aiaiiui, pretty oak wood ; and still better 
in the name of the little river flowing through Feth- 
ard in Tipperary — Grlashawling, beautiful streamlet. 
Another form {dille, beauty) of the word is seen in 
Rossalia in the parish of Killaha in Kerry {ros, a 
wood) ; but Rossalia near the abbey of Corcomroe in 
the north of Clare is the wood of the brine {sdile : see 
chap. XVI.). 

Many of the names of this class have been trans- 
lated. But Bonnyglen near Inver in Donegal is 
not a case in point, and is very deceptive ; for it is a 
modification of Bun-a'-ghlca)nia [Bunaglanna], the 
bun or end of the glen, so called from its situation at 
the lower end of the glen through which flows the 
stream that falls a little farther on into the Eany. 

One of the pleasantest sounds in the world is the 
babbling of a brook over rocks or pebbles ; and it 
does not require a great deal of imagination to invest 
the restless water with life, and to hear voices in its 

CHAP. IV.] Poetical and Fancy Nanifis. 65 

murmurs. Douogli Macnamara, in his song "^a«- 
chnoic Eireann ogJi" (Tiie fair liills of holy Ireland), 
has the following line : — 

"iVa srotlia 'san tsctiiiJira ctg lahhairt ar neoin" : — 

" The streams in the suiumer-time speaking in the evening." 

And another Irish poet, in an elegiac poem on the 
death of certain warriors who had fallen in battle, 
makes all inanimate nature join in a lament ; and 
among the rest the cataracts raise their melancholy 
voices : — "The shores, the waves, the moon and stars, 
are in sorrow for the death of the heroes, and the 
sound iglov) of cataracts is becoming loader." (See 
Misc. Celt. Soc, 1849, pp. 378-9). 

The peasants who lived and wandered on the mar- 
gins of our pleasant streams, were as much alive to 
these impressions as the poets ; and in many in- 
stances they gave names expressing what they ima- 
gined they heard in the busy waters. Glorach, de- 
rived from glor [glore], is tlie word usually employed 
in the formation of names of this kind. Glor is some- 
times used to signify voice, and sometimes noise ; but 
I believe the former is the original meaning. In one 
of the dialogues of the Tain ho Cluiailnge fin Lehor na 
hUiclhre) the hero Ferdia uses the expression " a/r/ 
gloi'" (of the majestic voice), to designate Meave, 
queen of Connaught. (See O'Curry, Lect., III., 418). 
O'Clery (quoted by Dr. Stokes — Cor. Gl., roce, bab- 
loir) explains babloir hy feay morghlorach (a man with 
a great voice) ; and in the same passage he makes 
glor equivalent to gutli, voice or speech. The word 
glor is used in this sense also in the last quotation ; 
and many other passages to the same efi'ect might 
be cited. We may then, I think, conclude that the 
term glorach was applied to streams in the sense 
of voiceful, babbling, or prattling. 


66 Poetical and Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

There are several small streams in various parts of 
the country called Grlashagloragh, the voiceful or bab- 
bling brook. One of these is in the parish of Inch, three 
miles south of Borrisoleigb in Tipperary ; another 
joins the Arigideen river, west of Clonakilty in Cork ; 
there is still another near Kenmare ; and the word 
is joined with sruthdn (a little stream) in Sruhan- 
gloragh, in the parish of Kilnoe in Clare. It might 
be expected that a rugged ford, where streams spread 
widely, and murmur and wind among the rocks and 
pebbles, would be often designated by this word 
glorach ; and we find this to be the case. In the 
parish of Annagh in Mayo, south of the village of 
Ballyhaunis, is a townland called Ahgloragh ; there 
is another townland near Tuam, of the same name, 
and each was so called from a ford on the adjacent 
stream, the Irish form of the name being At h- glorach, 
the babbling or purling ford. There is a little ham- 
let called Grioryford, three miles west of the village 
of Ballymoe in Galway, the name of which has the 
same origin as the preceding, for it is an attempted 
translation of Ath-glorach. One mile to the west 
of Abbeyleix in Queen's County, we cross Cloreen 
Bridge ; the name — which is a diminutive form — 
was originally applied to the ford before the erection 
of the bridge, and has the same meaning as the last. 
The word Grloragh itself is the name of a townland 
three miles north-west of the village of Sneem in 
Kerry, whicb was evidently so called from a small 
stream flowing southwards through the place into the 
Sneem river ; and there is a stream called Glory 
joining the King's River near Kells in Kilkenny: 
these two names signify " babbling river." 

It seems very natural that names of rivers should 
be occasionally formed from roots signifying to speak. 

CHAP. IV.] Poetical and Fancy Names. 67 

Silius Italicus, a Eoman poet of the first century of 
the Christian era, mentions a Graulish river named 
Labarus ; and Zeuss, quoting this, adds from cer- 
tain mediiBval charts, Labara, the ancient name of 
three small rivers, now called Laber, falling into the 
Danube near Reginum, the present Ratisbon. He 
suggests that these names are derived either from 
lahar, speaking (modern Irish lahhair, speak: lahh- 
airt, speaking) ; or from Iahai\ proud (Gram. Celt., 
p. 3, note **) ; but from what is said in the present 
article, the former will perhaps be considered prefer- 

According to the Irish annalists, three rivers sprang 
forth in the reign of Fiacha-Lahhrainne, one of the 
pre-Christian kings : — the Fieasc (now the Flesk in 
Kerry), the Maug (now the Maine, near the Flesk), 
and the Labrann, which must be one of the rivers in 
the barony of Corkaguiny, though the name is now 
obsolete (see O'Curry, Lect., II., 82). This last 
name corresponds with the old Gaulish names above- 
mentioned, and has obviously the same origin. 

In the Tripartite Life of »St. Patrick, it is related 
that when he came to 3Ia(jh Slecht in the present 
county of Cavan, to destroy the great idol Crom 
Cniac/i, he first caught sight of the idol from a 
stream called Giifh-drd, which means loud voice ; 
but the old writer is careful to explain that it got 

* At the same time it must be observed that rivers sometimes 
get names meaning proud. The little river that flows into the 
sea through Glengarriff in Cork, is called Uallach, though this 
name is not preserved on the (Ordnance maps. Z7«27/ signifies 
pride ; Uallach, proud ; and so well is this understood that the 
peasantry are now beginning to call the river by the English 
name Proudly. I suppose rivers with such names are suliject to 
sudden and impetuous floods, as the Glengarrifi" river is. 


G8 Poetical and Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

this name because St. Patrick raised his voice on 
seeing the idol. Whether this be the true explana- 
tion or not, it is curious tliat we have to this day 
a townland (now divided into two) in the north of 
Kerry, three or four miles east of Ballybunnion, 
called by this same name, in the modern form 
Oruhaid. Whether this name v/as originally applied 
to a stream I cannot say : perhaps the place was so 
called on account of a remarkable echo. In con- 
nexion with this it may be worth remarking that 
there is a little stream in the parish of Whitechurch 
in Waterford, five miles south-east of Cappoquin, 
called the Roaring Water. 

There is another Irish word, gleolr [glore], which 
not unfrequently goes to form the names of rivers, 
and as it is somewhat like glor in sound, the two are 
liable to be confounded when they become anglicised. 
Gleoir means brightness or clearuess. The river 
Glcoir in Sligo is very often mentioned in old records 
(Four M., HyF., &c.). According to O'Donovan 
(ITyF.109) tliis is the river now called the Leaffony, 
flowing into Killala bay five miles north-east of the 
mouth of the Moy ; but the old name is quite for- 
gotten. There was also a river Gleoir in the ancieut 
district of Cuailnge, the peninsula between Carling- 
ford and Dundalk. 

This old name is retained, however, by other 
streams in various parts of the country. There is a 
river Griore near Castlepollard in Westmeath, rising 
in Lough Glore, and joining the Inny; another near 
the village of Kiltamagh in Mayo ; and near Glen- 
arm in Antrim is a townland called Glore, which 
must have taken its name from a stream (v. Reeves: 
Eccl, Ant. 3'^8). The name of the townland of Glcar 
near Clones in Monaghan, has a like origin, for it is 

CHAP. i\'.] Poetical and Fancy Ka)nc>i. 60 

written Glccore in the Down Survey ; and its appearance, 
abounding in sparkling waters, jnstifies tlie name. 

Tiiere is still another word somewhat like this last, 
namely gluair [gloor], meaning pure or clear; from 
wliich comes gluairc [glooria], purity, clearness, 
brightness ; but I suppose (ilcoir and glaalr are radi- 
cally the same. In the Tripartite Life it is stated 
that St. Patrick founded a church at a place called 
Gluaire in the neighboui'hood of the present town of 
Larne (see Eeeves : Eccl. Ant. 87, note k). This 
word gives name to the two townlands of Glooria 
near Lough Key in the north of Roscommon, and to 
Grlouria in the parish of Graley in the north of 

Before leaving this part of the subject, I must 
direct attention to another way of designating the 
sparkling brightness of streams, by comparing it with 
the brilliancy of silver; a comparison which is ex- 
tremely common, not only in modern poetry, but in 
the language of every day life. This was the origin of 
the name of the Arigideen, literally "little silver" — 
the silvery little river, a considerable stream which 
flows into tlie sea at Courtmacsherry in the south of 
the county Cork (airgead, silver ; diminutive airgidin). 
Near Castleisland in Kerry there is a small stream 
which dashes over rocks, called Glasheenanargid, the 
little streamlet (r/Zrir/^t^n) of the silver. 

In their observation of the beauties of nature, 
the people did not pass unnoticed the singing of birds. 
It would not be easy to find a prettier name than 
Coolkellure, which is that of a plp.ce near Dunman- 
way in Cork, signif^dng the recess of the warbling 
of birds : — Ciul-ceilcahhair. The word ccileahhar 
[kellure], which enters into this name, is now com- 

/ Poetical and Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

monly applied to the singing, chirping, or warbling 
of a bird : — 

"2*0 hlitl is hinne' 
Na'n chiiach air bile. 
S'nci ceUehhar cacin nan cunlaidhy 

"Thy mouth which is sweeter than the cuckoo 
on the tree — sweeter than the melodious war- 
bling of the birds." But it originally signified 
the same as the Latin celebratio, which the early 
ecclesiastical writers transferred into the Irish lan- 
guage. Cormac Mac Cullenan (Gloss. 9th cent.) 
mentions the word, and derives it from celebro. It 
is probable that the name Drumbinnis, which we 
find in Cavan, Fermanagh, and Leitrim, and Drum- 
binnisk in Fermanagh alone, have a similar origin : — 
Druim-bmnis, the hill-ridge of melody {binneas, me- 

The fragrance of the fields and flowers arrested 
the attention, and drew forth the admiration of, 
these observant people, as well as the visible beauties 
of the landscape. And they expressed their per- 
ception and enjoyment of the jDerfume of any par- 
ticular spot, fragrant from its abundance of sweet 
smelling herbs, by imposing names formed from the 
word ciimJira or cublwa [coora], which signifies sweet 
scented. The word is used in this sense by Giolla 
losa Mor Mac Firbis in a poem written by him 
in the beginning of the fifteenth century, when he 
calls 0' Murchddhas house " Habitation of the sweet- 
scented branches" {Aifreb na craeb ciibraidi: seeHyF., 
p. 265). Irish writers were fond of using this 
term, craebh euiii lira ; and in love songs it is often 
applied to a beautiful young woman, as in the well 
known song, ^^ Rois geal dubh :" — "-4 chraebh chumhra 

CHAP. IV.] Poetical and Fancy Names. 71 

a duhhairt Horn go raihh gvadh agnddom ■'" " 0, sweet- 
scented branch, who hast told me that thou didst 
love me." There is a parish in Limerick which, 
curiously enough, has for name this very epithet, 
Craebh-cinnhradh [Crave-coora], for so O'Heeren 
writes the name, meaning sweet-scented branch or 
branchy tree — but it is now anglicised Crecora. A 
place about three miles north-west from Eyrecourt 
in Galway has a name like this : — Scecoor, i. e. in 
Irish Sceach-cumhya, fragrant bush. 

Clontycoora, the name of a townland in the parish 
of Cleenish in Fermanagh, is as suggestive of fields 
decked with summer flowers as any name of this 
class — Chmnie-cmnlivaidh^ the odoriferous chons or 
meadows ; so also is Aghacoora near the village of 
Lixnaw in Kerry — sweet-scented field ; and Cloon- 
coorha, scented meadow, is the name of a little 
hamlet three miles north of Kilrush in Clare. At 
A. D. 1401 the Four Masters record that Mac Rannall, 
the chief of his race, was slain by another chief of the 
same name at Druini-cuhhra, the fragrant- scented 
ridge ; and the place, which lies in the parish of 
Iviltoghert in Leitim, still retains the name in the 
form of Drumcoora. There is another place of the 
same name near Mohill in the same county. We 
have also Tullj^coora nearCastleblayney in Monaghan 
[Tully, a hill) ; and the old church that gave name 
to Kilcoorha in the parish of Killeedy in Limerick, 
was probably surrounded with sweet-smelling bushes 
— most likely hawthorn — when it got the name. 
Five miles north-east from Birr in King's County, 
is a considerable lake called Lough Coura — which, 
no doubt, was so called from the perfume of the 
flowery herbage on its shores. 

What a curious and pretty name — pretty at least 

72 Poetical cuicl Fancy Names. [chap. iv. 

in its meaning — is Muggalnagrow, in the parish of 
Inishmacsaint in Fermanagh ; mogul, ?ic\x\%iev ; cno, 
a nut; Mogitl-na-gcno, cluster of nuts {n changed to r; 
1st Ser., Part I., c. iii.) Just outside Sybil Point, 
west of Dingle in Kerry, there is a rock rising from 
the sea, called Maheraneig ; i. e. in Irish MatJiair-aii- 
fhicdg, the raven's mother {fiach, a raven) ; aud it got 
this name, I suppose, as being larger and more 
imposing in appearance than another sea rock in its 
vicinity, called thePaven. Among the innumerable 
inlets round Lettermore island in Connemara, there is 
one at the townland of Bealadangan, which at its open- 
ing is exposed to all the violence of the tempests that 
sweep over that desolate coast. A stormy and in- 
hospitable shore was never more graphically pictured 
than in the name of that little inlet : — Crompaun- 
vealduark : crouijxin, a small sea-inlet ; he/, mouth ; 
duairc, frowning or surly ; — the little creek of the 
BuxXy mouth. Among the many streams that flow 
into Killery bay from the north or Mayo side, there 
is one just opposite Leenane, called Sruhaun-more-ard 
(the large high streamlet), whicli tumbles over a 
rocky precipice into the dark depths below ; and any 
one who understands a little of the Irish language 
can form a fair idea of the gloomy and dangerous 
character of this waterfall even without seeing it, for 
the name is quite enough : — Skirra-go-hiffirn, slipping 
to hell. 

CHAP, v.] Diseases and Cures. 73 



Our native literature affords sufficient proof that the 
science of medicine was carefully cultivated in ancient 
Ireland. For we have in our museums several 
medical manuscripts containing elaborate treatises 
on the various types of diseases known in the times 
of the writers, with minute descriptions of symptoms, 
and carefully detailed directions on the methods of 
treatment. The office of physician was hereditary, 
like many other offices in this country ; and these 
manuscripts were compiled by the several leech 
families, and handed down from father to son, each 
adding to the volume the most recent discoveries in 
the science, or the results of his own experience. 

Several great physicians are celebrated in the pagan 
records of the country ; and many legends are extant 
which show that they were believed to possess powers 
of cure bordering on the miraculous. The most cele- 
brated of all v^nsDidiiccchf, the physician of the Tttatha 
de Daiiainis. When this race invaded Ireland they 
found it already in possession of the Firboigs ; and a 
battle was fought between the two armies on the 
plain of Moytura, near Cong in the county Mayo, in 
the year of the world 3303, in whicli the Firbohjs 
were defeated, and their king, Eochij, slain. Tiie 
ancient account of this battle states that Niiada, the 
king of the Tuatha de Dananns, had his arm lopped 
off with a blow of a heavy sword, by tSreug, one of 

74 l)iseasp.s and Cures. [chap. v. 

the Firholg warriors. Credne, the king's artificer, 
fashioned an arm of silver ; and Binncecld fixed it 
on by his surgical skill, while his son, Miach., endued 
it with life and motion, so that the king was able to 
use it like the hand and arm he had lost ; and he 
was ever after known by the name of Nuada of the 
silver hand. 

The second battle of Moytura was fought twenty- 
seven years after, by the Tuatha de Dananns against 
the Fomorians, in which the former were again vic- 
torious ; but their king, Nuada of the silver hand, 
was slain by the great Fomorian chieftain, Balor of 
the mighty blows. In this battle also, the wonderful 
medical skill of Diancecht was brought into play ; for 
with the aid of his daughter and his two sons, he 
prepared a medicinal bath in the rear of the army, 
and endued it with such sanative virtue, that the 
wounded warriors who retired and plunged into it, 
came out restored to strength, " smooth and whole 
from their wounds." The bath derived its healing 
qualities from herbs which were gathered by Dian- 
ccclit chiefly in a district situated near Birr in the 
present King's County, which, because it produced 
these medicinal herbs in such abundance, was called 
L/usmagh, the plain of the herbs (/^^9, an herb ; magh, 
a plain), a name which it retains to this day. 

We read also in the Tain bo ChnaUnge, of a warrior 
named Cetliern who was desperately wounded, and 
who was cured by the physician Fingin, by means of 
a bath medicated with the marrow of a great number 
of cows (O'Curry, Lect., II., 101). 

If we are inclined to laugh at the simple people 
who believed in those marvellous cures, let us not 
forget that they were in no degree more credulous 
than myriads of our own day, who are caught by 

CHAP, v.] Diseases and Cures. 7b 

quack advertisements, and who believe in cures quite 
as wonderful as those performed by DiancecJd. 

The frequent notices of physicians in Irish writings, 
the great consideration in which they were held, and 
the numerous regulations regarding them found in 
the Brehon Laws, show that medicine was a well 
recognised profession from the most remote periods of 
history. After the introduction of Christianity we find 
no mention of any particular physician, so far as I am 
aware, till a. d. 860, in which year the Four Masters 
and the Annals of Ulster record the death of 
" Moylohar O'Tinnri, the most learned physician of 
Ireland." From this time forward we have informa- 
tion — increasing as we advance — reg-ardiuii; medical 
science and its professors. Each of the great Irish 
families had attached to it a johysician whose office 
was hereditary, and who usually held a tract of land 
in return for service. These physicians ranked with 
the judges and poets ; many of them resided in stately 
castles, and lived in fact altogether like princes. 

Among these may be mentioned the O'Cassidys, 
who were physicians to theMaguires of Fermanagh, of 
whom several individual practitioners of great emi- 
nence are commemorated in the annals. This 
family possessed a tract in the county Fermanagh, 
which retains their name to this day — Farrancassidy, 
the land of the O'Cassidys. The O'Sheils were 
another very distinguished family of physicians, who 
w^ere attached to the Mac Coghlans of I)elvin in the 
King's County, and to the Mac Mahons of Oriel ; 
and their medical manuscript — " The Book of the 
O'Sheils" — is now in the Koyal Irish Academy. 
This family possessed the lands of Ballysheil near 
the village of Cloghan in King's County — the town 

76 ■ Diseases and Cures. [chap. v. 

of O'Sheil. There are other jDlaces of the same 
name in the counties of Down and Armagh. 

The very names of some of these families indicate 
their profession. O'Lee (the name is now always 
written Lee) was physician to the 'Flaherty s of 
west Connaught ; and the book belonging to this 
family is also preserved in the library of the Royal 
Irish Academy. The Irish form of the- name is 
O^Liaigh, which means the descendant of the liagh 
[leea], i. e. of the leech or physician. So also 
O'Hickey : the O'Hickeys were long celebrated as 
physicians, and different branches of the family 
were attached to the O'Briens and other great 
southern families. This name is in Irish Cyhlcidhe, 
which signifies the descendant of the healer, from 
the root ic to heal {ic, sahis, Zeuss, 49). 

The two ancestors from wdiom these families 
respectively took their names must have sprung 
into sudden celebrity on account of their skill in 
medicine ; so much so that their usual names were 
changed to IcidJie [eeky], the liealer, and Liagh 
[leeaj, the physician; and theirprofession was trans- 
mitted from father to son for liundreds of j^ears, till 
it finally died out in times comparatively recent — 
a good example of the extraordinary tenacity with 
which the several families clung to hereditary offices 
in Ireland. 

It is almost unnecessary to observe that it is not 
my object to give here a history of disease in Ire- 
land, but only to illustrate by a few remarks those 
local names that preserve in their etymology a 
memory of disease either general or special. 

Plague. We have in Irish several words to de- 
note a plague in general. The most usual term in 
use in Pagan times was iamh [thauv], of which I 

CHAP, v.] Diseases and Cures. . 77 

have already treated (see Tallaglit, First Series). 
Another word in use was teidhin [thame], which 
however I do not find reproduced in names. In 
Christian times the word plaigh [pLaw] — a mere 
adajotation of the Latin pkiga — came into general use 
to denote any great pestilence or violent epidemic. 
This word enters into the formation of several names ; 
and when we fiud a place with such a name we 
may draw the conclusion either that it was at some 
time long past depopulated by one of those dread- 
ful pestilential visitations which are so frequently 
recorded in our annals, and which, as it swept over 
the country, concentrated its virulence on thnt parti- 
cular spot ; or tliat the place was selected, during 
the prevalence of the mortality, as an asylum for the 
sick ; and probably in some instances names of this 
kind mark the spots where the victims of some sort 
of plague were interred in one great sepulchre (see 
Tallaght, First Series). Just by the chapel of Shan- 
bally near Moukstown below Cork, there is a large 
rock with some ancient remains on its top ; it is 
called on the Ordnance map Carrigaplau, repre- 
senting the Irish Carrahj-a-phla\(jh, the rock of the 
plague ; but the popular anglicised name is Carriga- 
fly, which is more correct, the p being aspirated as it 
ought. There is a place near Cloumel called Tem- 
pleaplau — the plague church ; in the parish of 
Donaghmore in Cork we have Commeenaplau 
{commeen, a little com or valley) ; and three miles 
north-west from Slirule in Ma^'o, is a i3lace called 
Xnockanaplaw}^, the little hill of the plague. 

Lopro^ij. In our native records there is abundant 
evidence to prove that some form of leprosy existed in 
Ireland from a very early date. It would seem to have 
been a recognised disease in the time of St. Patrick ; 

78 ■ Diseases and Cures.. [chap. v. 

for we are told in one of his Lives, that at one time he 
maintained a leper in his house, and ministered to 
him with his own hands. After his time our litera- 
ture, especially that portion devoted to the Lives 
and Acts of the Irish Saints, abounds with notices of 
the disease ; and even some of the early saints 
themselves are believed to have been afflicted with 
it, as for instance St. Fiuan, the founder of the 
monastery of Innisfallen at Killarney, in the seventh 
century, who was surnamed lobur or the leper, be- 
cause, as is commonly believed, he was for thirty 
years afflicted with some cutaneous disease. 

There are several notices of individual deaths by 
leprosy in the annals, and on more occasions than 
one it broke out in the form of an epidemic, and 
carried off great numbers of people. From the time 
of St. Patrick till the 17th century, the country 
appears never to have been free from it. Boate 
states that in his time (1645) it had disappeared; 
but says that formerly it was very common, and 
he attributes its prevalence to the practice of eating 
salmon out of season. 

So general was the disease in former times, that 
leper hospitals were established in various parts of 
Ireland, many of them in connexion with monastic 
institutions ; for example at Dublin, Waterford, 
Wexford, &c. ; and Boate states that they were 
specially numerous in Munster, where the disease 
was very prevalent. This last statement appears to 
receive some confirmation from the epithet applied in 
the Book of Eights (p. 49) to Slieve Lougher near 
Castleisland in Kerry, namely Lnachair na lubhair, 
Lougher of the lepers ; which would also go to show 
that this characteristic, as regards at least a part of 
Munster, was of long standing. We find recorded in 

CHAP, v.] Diseases mid Cures. 79 

the " Monasticon Hibernicum" that an hospital for 
lepers was founded in 1467 at the village of Hospital 
in Limerick and another at Dungannon, the former 
of which still retains the name. The names of 
Spittle, Spiddle, and Spital, which are only shortened 
forms of Hospital, are very common in various parts 
of Ireland ; and they mark the sites of hospitals of 
some kind, some of them no doubt leper hospitals. 

There are several terms in Irish for cutaneous 
diseases of the nature of leprosy. Of these sanih- 
thrusc [sauvrusk] is applied to a great epidemic 
which broke out in the middle of the sixth century, 
and which is understood to have been a sort of 
mange or scaly leprosy. Clamli [clauv] is another 
word in common use for some form of the same 
disease, as well as for a person afflicted with it ; and 
we have this commemorated in Drumclamph near 
Ardstraw in Tyrone, the ridge of the lepers. But it 
is with the word lohhar [lower] we have chiefly to do 
here. It is generally believed that this is merely the 
Latin word lepra borrowed by the Irish. But lobar 
is used in the oldest Irish writings in the sense of 
wfirmus, and is not confined in its application to 
leprosy ; it occurs for instance, many times in the 
MSS. quoted by Zeuss (8th cent.) in the old form 
lobor, and always glosses' injirmns or debilis. In the 
Book of Leinster and also in the Book of Lismore, 
the expression " na lobor ecus na clam'' occurs, and in 
both cases. Dr. Eeeves translates clam by "lepers" 
and lobor by "sick," which latter exactly corresponds 
with the iufirmus and debilis of the ancient glosso- 
grapher (Eeeves on the Culdees, Trans. R. I. A., 
Yol. XXIV., p. 196). From this it would appear 
that lobor is not borrowed from lepra, but is merely 
cognate with it. If we bear in mind the sense in 

80 Diseases and Cures. [chap. v. 

•which this word was used in old Irish, it will not 
perhaps be necessar}^ to helieve that those early 
saints — of whom there were several — who are sur- 
named lohhar, were afflicted with leprosy ; but that 
they were simply irifirmuH or feeble in health. 

In whatever sense lobhar m^j have been used, how- 
ever, in very early ages, in later times it came to be 
applied, not in a general manner to a person infirm 
or sick, but in a special sense to one afflicted with 
leprosy. And in this sense it is found in the local 
nomenclature of the country, which tlius corroborates 
the accounts preserved in the national records, of the 
former prevalence of the disease. The usual angli- 
cised forms of the word is lour, loiver, loura, and hire 
(this last representing the Irish modified form luhhar, 
which very often occurs) ; and I suppose that where- 
ever we find a name containing this word, we may 
generally infer that some kind of liospital or asylum 
for lepers was formerly established there. 

Such a place is Knockaunalour in the parish of Ard- 
nageehy, south of the Nagles Mountains in Cork — 
Cnocdn-na-lobhar, the little hill of the lepers ; and 
Knocknalower, which has a similar meaning, is the 
name of a small hill with a few houses at its base, in 
the midst of a nioory tract, east of Belmullet in 
Mayo. There are places in Cork, Tipperary, and 
Galway, called Gortnalour, Gortnalower, and Gort- 
naloura, the field of the lepers; and in Rathnalour 
in the parish of Newchapel near Clonrael, the diseased 
must have been sheltered within the enclosure of the 
old fort. About five miles north of Corrofin in Clare, 
there is a place called Poulnalour, the lepers' pool or 
hole, which was probably so called from a pool sup- 
posed to possess some virtue in curing lepers who 
washed themselves in it. Ballynalour, the town of 

CHAP. V.J Diseases and Cures. 81 

the lepers, is a townland near St. Mullins in Carlow; 
and this was the original name of Leperstown be- 
tween Dublin and Bray, which is now corruptly 
called Leopardstown. 

But no doubt, several of the places with names of 
this kind were so called because persons afflicted with 
leprosy resided in, or had them in possession ; and 
this may be presumed to have been the case when 
the name commemorates only a single leper. There 
is a place near Kanturk in Cork, called Di-omalour, 
and another in Cavan, half way between Butler's 
Bridge and Belturbet, called Drumalure, both from 
Dndm-a-Iobhair, the ridge of the leper ; Cloonalour, 
near Tralee, the leper's meadow. There is a place 
in the parish of Cloonoghil in Sligo, called Flower- 
hill, which is a strange transformation of the proper 
Irish name, Cnoc-a-lobhair, hill of the leper. This 
change, which was made by translating owe to liill, 
and by turning lohhair (lour) to fon-er, totally hides 
the meaning. It is to be observed that the fact of 
lohhar being singular in a name does not exclude the 
supposition of a leper hospital. 

Jaundice. Those who are afflicted with jaundice 
may be restored to health and colour by drinking 
the water of Toberboyoga (well of the jaundice) 
near Kells in Meath : — huidheog [boyoge], jaundice. 
Wells of this kind are sometimes called Buidheachan 
[Boyaghan], a term which, like huidheog, is a di- 
minutive from huidhe [boy], yellow ; and one of 
these wells has given name to the townland of 
Boyaghan near Irvinestown in Fermanagh. But I 
must observe that some of them may have been 
so called from the yellow colour of the claj^ or mud. 
Grortnasoolboy in the parish of Cam in Roscommon, 
would seem to be connected in some way with this 


82 Diseases and Cures. [chap. v. 

disease, as its most expressive name appears to indi- 
cate — the field of the yellow eyes [suil, eye). An- 
other name of exactly the same kind is applied to a 
fort, and also to a townland, in the parish of Ard- 
crony, three miles south of Borrisokane in Tippe- 
rary — Lisnasoolmoy, the fort of the yellow eyes. 
Here the b of buid/ie or boi/ is eclipsed by in as it 
ought to be ; but I cannot imagine why the fort got 
this name. 

Warts. If a person's hands are disfigured by 
warts, he has generally not far to travel to find 
a well, in which if he wash them day after day for 
some time, the warts will disappear. Sometimes the 
rain-water that collects in the hollows of certain 
monumental stones, such as crosses, tombs, &o. — 
and occasionally in rocks of any kind — is believed to 
possess this virtue. Two miles west of Macroom in 
Cork, near the south bank of the river Sullane, and 
in the townland of Inchibrackane, is a holy well 
called Tobernawanny, which is the pronunciation 
of Tohor-na-hltfdithnidhe, the well of the warts: 
— -faithnidh [fauny], a wart. There is another well 
of the same name in the townland of Derrygarriv, 
two miles south of Kenmare ; and still another — 
Tobernavaunia, in the parish of Kilcummin in Gral- 
way. Fahnia lake, a small pool three miles north- 
east of the town of Donegal, must have been be- 
lieved to possess some virtue of this kind, for the name 
is the English representative of the Irish Loch-na- 
hhfaitlinidhe [Lough Navaunee], the lake of the warts. 

Well Cures. The memory of diseases is preserved 
more generally in connexion with wells than with 
any other physical feature. For wells were very 
often dedicated to the early saints, after whose death 
they continued to be held in reverence for ages by 

CHAP. V.J Diseases and Cures. S3 

tlie people ; and many of tli'em were believed to 
possess the power of curing diseases. Jocelin records 
the legend that St. Patrick caused a well to spring 
miraculously from the earth in the neighbourhood of 
Saul near JJownpatrick, and this well was called Slcin 
[slawnj, but the Ultouians, we are told, filled it up on 
account of the annoyance they suffered from the great 
crowds that frequented it. For it was believed to 
possess wonderful efficacy, and the old scholiast, 
in explaining the name slaa by sanus or health- 
giving, adds that it was called sicm because all who 
came to it returned from it whole and sound. 

A reverence for wells, and a popular belief in their 
sanative virtues, existed among the Pagan popu- 
lation of the country before the fifth century ; 
for we find it recorded in one of the earliest narra- 
tives of the Life of St. Patrick, that he came on 
a certain occasion to a well called Slan which the 
druids worshipped as a god ; and other passages 
might be cited to the same effect. 

This word slcin, which we have seen was a name for 
certain fountains in pagan times, and was adopted also 
by the early Christians, continued in use after the 
spread of Christianity as a kind of generic term for 
holy wells ; and we have many examples of wells so 
called — all in the same sense — indicating the preva- 
lence of a belief in their healing qualities. It must 
be remarked that s/a;?, healthy, and the derivative 
sidinte [slauntia] health, are living words in common 
use at the present day. There is a Toberslaue — 
the well of health or the healing well — which gives 
name to a townland in the parish of Killea a little 
south-west of the city of Derry ; there is another 
well now called Toberslaun in the townland of Bal- 
leeghan near Lough Swilly in Donegal, which 

G 2 

84 Diseases and Cures. [chap. v. 

O'Donovan believes, and with good reason, to be the 
same well mentioned in the Four Masters at 1557, 
b}^ the name of CahJiarthach [Oowrha], which has much 
the same meaning as skin, viz., helping. Tober- 
slauntia — well of health — is the name of a well in 
the townland of Knightswood, two miles south-west 
of the village of Multyfarnham in Westmeath ; and 
there is a small circular lake called Lough Slaun 
near the east margin of Lough Ree, south of Lanes- 

The word slan enters also into other names. There 
is an old fort in the parish of St. John's in Ros- 
common, which would appear by its name to have 
been used at one time as a kind of sanatorium : — 
Lisaslaun, the fort of the sick people (ms, a negative 
particle; easldn, a sick person). The common plan- 
tain or rib-grass is called in Irish sldnlus, heal-herb ; 
from which again the townland of Muingatlaunlush 
in the parish of O'Brennan, about six miles north- 
east of Tralee, has its name : — Muing-a -tsldnluis, the 
muing or sedgy place of the rib-grass. 

While great numbers of wells are, like the pre- 
ceding, celebrated for curing all sorts of diseases, 
many, on the other hand, were resorted to for par- 
ticular disorders ; and the names of not a few attest 
this speciality. We may with great probability 
conclude that wells of this kind very often derived 
their reputation from being dedicated to patrons who 
were noted for curing special diseases. As a good 
example of a special reputation of this kind, I will 
instance a curious legend in the life of one of our 
most celebrated early saints. 

Acdh mac Brie [Aedh or Hugh the son oi Brec), 
bishop, was the tutelar saint of the Kinelea, that is, 
of the people who inhabited the territory now repre- 

CHAP, v.] Diseases and Cures. 85 

sented by the bavony of Moycasbel, in "Westraeath. 
He was one of the tribe himself, his father, Brec, 
being descended in the fourth generation from Niall 
of the Nine Hostages ; he was born early in the sixth 
century, and he died in the year 589. The chief of a 
district in his native territory presented him with one 
of the native circular forts to be turned to Christian 
uses ; and the saint erected a church within its fosses ; 
whence, according to his Life, the place came to be 
oalledRafh-Aedha, Oasfel/uinAidi, i.e. yl«///'s or Hugh's 
fort, now anglicised Rahugh, the name of the parish 
in which he is still venerated. And the old fort still 
remains there. This saint is reverenced in several 
other places. With that taste for extreme and im- 
pressive solitude so prevalent among the early eccle- 
siastics, he built a little oratory, whose ruins are still 
to be seen, on the top of Slieve League in Donegal, 
where he is now called bishop Hugli Breaky; and 
near it is his holy well, where there were stations 
within the last two or three generations. 

It is related in his Life that a man once came to 
him who was afflicted with a violent headache, and 
begged the saint to pray for him. The bishop said, 
" I cannot cure you in any way except by causing 
the pain to pass from you to me ; but you will have 
a great reward if you bear it patiently." The man 
persisted, stating that the pain was more than he 
could bear ; whereupon the bishop prayed, and the 
sufferer was immediately relieved, but the pain was 
transferred to the head of the holy man. Hence it 
came to pass, as the legend goes on to say, that per- 
sons were in the habit of invoking this saint's name 
for a pain in the head. The great antiquity of this 
custom is proved, and very curiously illustrated, by 
the following short poem published by Mone, archive 

86 Diseases and Cures --hap. v. 

director of Carlsrulie, from a manuscript preserved in 
the monastery of Reiclienau on an island in Lake 
Constance : — 

rex, rector regminis, 
o cultor cceli carminis 
persecutor niurmoris 
deus alti agniinis. 

•l-fllio ■!■ pater 

Aide sanctus mech brich benibiila 
posco piiro precamina, 
ut refrigerat flumiiia 
mei capitis calida. 

Curat caput cum renibus 

■1' eerebre 

meis, atque talibus, 

cum oculis et gcnibus, 
cum auribus et naribus. 

•I* nervibas 

Cum inclitis euntibus, 
cum fistulis sonantibus, 
cum lingua atque dentibus, 
cum lachrymarum fontibus. 

Sanctus Aid altus adjuvat, 
nieum caput ut liberat, 
ut hoc totum perseverat 
sanum atque vigilat. 

This poem (the Latin of which is very barbarous, as 
Dr. Reeves remarks) was written in the eighth century 
by an Irishman, one of those good men who in early 
ages exiled themselves from home to help to spread 
the Faith, and it will be perceived that it is a form 
of jDrayer to obtain relief from a headache. We may 
assume that the writer merely transcribed it, and that 
its composition may be referred to a still earlier date. 
Mone, who had not access to Lish hagiological au- 
thorities, conjectured that the person whose interces- 
sion is invoked was Jcdh or Mogue, first bishop of 
Ferns ; but Dr. Reeves at once recognised him as 
Aed/i mac Brie. 

Dr. Reeves concludes the paper from which the pre- 
ceding account has been taken,* with the following 
appropriate remark: — " The little composition which 
forms the leading subject of the paper, possesses no 
literary merits, but it is a well-defined trace of that 

* On the Hyninus Sancti Aidi, liy the Kev. W. Reeves, D.D. 
Pioc. K. I. A., VJI.,91. 

CHAP, v.] Diseases and Cures. 87 

early religious emigration wliicli commenced in tlie 
sixth century, and waxed more and more vigorous till 
it attained its height in tlie ninth, taking with it not 
only the language and literature of the Scoti, hut 
also their legendary associations, which they clung to 
in foreign climes ; and Dot only so, but left them on 
record in manuscripts which have weathered a thou- 
sand years, and are now beginning, through German 
industry, to be reflected on the mother country, 
where they find their counterparts, after a separation 
of so many centuries." 

The counterpart of this little poem is the ac- 
count quoted at p. 85 from the Life of the saint. 
But there is another, and if possible a more interest- 
ing one, in the fact that Aedh mac Brie is still in- 
voked for a headache. Near the ruins of the old- 
monastery of Rahugh was bishop Hugh's holy well, 
but it is now, I regret to say, closed up, though it 
would be easy to restore it ; and in the same place is 
a large stone, still called Bishop Hugh's stone — for 
according to local tradition, the saint was accustomed 
to pray on it — to which the people of the surround- 
ing districts have been, time out of mind, in the habit 
of resorting for the relief of headache.* So that the 
custom, which probably began soon after the saint's 
death, has lived on without interruption for more 
than twelve hundred years. 

Wells that were famed for curing sore eyes were often 
called Tobersool and Tobernasool, the well of the eyes 
(sail, the eye) ; there is a Tobersool for instance in the 
parish of Balscaddan in the north of the county Dub- 
lin, near Balbriggan, and another called Tobernasool, 
one mile north-east ofLisbellaw in Fermanagh, from 

• See the Uev. A. Cogims " Diocese of ^leatli," II. 5i'2. 

88 Diseases and Cures. [chap. v. 

wHcli the adjacent lake lias got the name of Lough 
Eyes. Of the same character must be Loughanna- 
sool, two miles east of Elphin in Roscommon, Lough- 
annasool in the parish of Cloonygormican, same 
county, andLoughnasool, near the north end of Lough 
Arrow in Sligo, all signifying the lake of the eyes. 
Sometimes these wells are called Toberkeagh, blind 
well (caech, blind) ; but this term is often also ap- 
plied to a well which sometimes dries up, without any 
reference to eye-cure : it is blind when there is no 
water in it. There is a place called Blindwell in the 
parish of Kilconla in Galway, six miles north-west of 
Tuam ; and a stream called Owenkeagh, blind river, 
joins the Arigideen above Timoleague in Cork. 

When children are wasting away in a decline they 
are bathed in the little lake called Loughaneeg, three 
miles south of Elphin in Roscommon : — eug, death, 
but applied here to a slow, wasting disease ; Lough- 
aneeg, the lake of the decline. The general restora- 
tive qualities of Toberanleise, near the river Barrow, 
in the townland of Dunganstown, parish of White- 
church, Wexford, is indicated by its name — Tobar- 
an-Ieighis, the well of the cure {liagh, a physician — 
Jeigheas, cure). The little lake of Loughanleagh, 
three miles east of Bailieboro in Cavan, has been 
celebrated from time immemorial for curing all kinds 
of cutaneous diseases : let the eruption be ever so 
virulent, the patient who was bathed in this little 
pool and afterwards treated with poultices of the mud, 
was sure to show a clean white skin, in a very few 
days. A good many years ago, unfortunately for 
the people of the neighbourhood, a gentleman who 
had a pack of mangy hounds swam them in the 
water, which so offended the local guardian that the 
lake immediately lost its virtue, and has never siuce 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. i59 

regained it. But still the name remains, to tantalize 
the people with the memory of what they have lost — 
Loch-an-Uagha, physician lake. There are many small 
lakes called Loughanlea in various parts of the coun- 
try, but it is pretty certain that in these cases the 
name means merely grey lake* 



Immediately after the time of St. Patrick, Christi- 
anity spread rapidly in Ireland ; religious bodies 
sprang up in all directions ; and the country be- 
came covered with a vast number of ecclesiastical 
institutions of every kind. From Britain and the 
Continent great numbers came hither to spend their 
lives in study and peaceful retirement ; and in every 
part of Europe Irish missionaries were to be found 
who had voluntarily left their native land to preach 
the Gospel : so that Ireland came to be known by the 
name of Insula Sanctonim, the Island of Saints. As 
one consequence of this, we find that the Irish terms 
by which the various orders of ecclesiastics are desig- 
nated, are intimately interwoven with the local no- 
menclature of the country. Names formed in this 
way often mark the sites of monasteries, nunneries, 
or churches — many of them now obliterated ; or they 

* For a considerable part of the information in this chapter 
regardinpf diseases in Ireland, I am indebted to the Introduction 
to the " Table of Deaths" in the Censqs of 1851 , by Sir William 
R. Wilde, 

90 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

indicate places where ecclesiastics lived, or land 
which was once the property of neighbouring reli- 
gious institutions. 

Clevgij. Clerech signifies a clergyman without any 
reference to rank ; and like tlie English term clergy, 
it is a loan word from the Latin clericus. Two of its 
most common anglicised forms are seen in Farran- 
cleary, the name of a place near Cork city, the land 
of the clergyman ; and in Ballynagleragh, the name 
of several places in Clare, Tipperary, and Waterford, 
the town of the clergy. In this last the c is eclipsed 
by g, and also in Carrownaglearagh in Roscommon 
and Sligo, the quarter-land of the clergy. 

Bishops. The word episcopns was borrowed early 
from Latin into Irish, and in the old language it took 
the form epscop ; but this has been changed by meta- 
thesis to the modern form empog or easpoc, which is 
now the word in universal use for a bishop. When 
this term occurs iu names, it is almost always easy of 
recognition, as the following examples will show : — 
Monaspick, the name of a townland near Blessing- 
ton in "Wicklow, signifies bishop's bog; Tullinespick 
in the parish of Bright in Down, the tulach or hill of 
the bishop. In a very few cases the word is dis- 
guised, as in Killaspy in the parish of Dunkitt in 
Kilkenny, which is written in certain old documents, 
Killaspucke, meaning the bishop's church. 

Canons. Cananach, which is an adaptation of the 
Latin canonicns, signifies a canon, a church dignitary. 
It is pretty common in local names, and the first c is 
usually changed to g by eclipse. There is a town- 
land near Letterkenny, which in old times formed 
part of the termon lands of the monastery of Kilmac- 
renan ; and this circumstance is still commemorated 
in the name Carrowuaganonagli, or iu Irish Ccafh- 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 91 

ramhadh-na-gcananaeh, the quarter land of tlie canons. 
In the great expansion of the Sliannon south of Clare, 
there is an island now called Canon Island in Eng- 
lish, but always by the people speaking Irish Oilean- 
na-gcananach, the island of the canons. There was a 
monastery for Augustinian canons founded on this 
island by Donald O'Brien, king of Limerick, the ex- 
tensive ruins of which can be very plainly seen from 
the steamer as it passes the island. 

Priests. Sagarf, or in its old form, saeart, a 
priest, is merely tlie Latin sacerdos, borrowed at the 
very dawn of Christianity in Ireland. It is very 
common in local names, and like the last, is easily 
known ; for it usually assumes the form saggarf, or 
with the s eclipsed by f, taggart or teggart. These 
forms are exhibited in Ivylenasatrgart in the parish of 
Bally callen, near the city of Kilkenny, Coill-na-sa- 
garf, the wood of the priests ; and in Carriekataggart 
near Killybegs in Donegal, C((rraig-a'-fsr(gairf, the 
priest's rock. Taggartsland in the parish of Done- 
gore in Antrim, shows the t preserved after the article 
had dropped off, the Irish name being obviously 
Fearann-a'' -tsagairt , i. e. priest-land. There is a range 
of hills near the village of Ballyvourney in Cork, 
called Derrynasaggart, the devrn or oak-wood of the 
priests. In a few cases the s is aspirated, and then 
the form assumed by the word is generally such as is 
seen in Drumhaggart in the parish of Burt in Done- 
gal, Driiim-sJiagairt, the priest's ridge. 

Another word for a priest, but much more rare 
than sagarf, is criiintht/ier [criffer, crufFer]. According 
to Cormao Mac Cullenan (Glossary; 9th cent.), the 
Irish borrowed this word from the Welsh, and the 
■latter from the Latin : he states that preshi/ter is the 
original, which the Welsh ecclesiastics who w^ere in 

92 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

attendance on St. Patrick, clianged to premier ; and 
the Irish borrowing this, altered it to endmther, for 
''prem in the Welsh is cruim in the Gaelic." In 
some of our oldest records, we find this word cruim- 
ther applied to several eminent ecclesiastics, such as 
Cruhnfher Aed/i, Cruimfher Colum, &c. 

A very correct anglicised form of the word is ex- 
hibited in Clooncruffer in the parish of Ardcarn, in 
the north of Roscommon, the cloon or meadow of the 
priest ; and a less correct in the name of a far more 
important place, Kilcrumper, a parish near Fermoy 
in Cork, taking its name from a celebrated old church 
which is frequently mentioned in the Book of Lis- 
more, and called Cill-crnimlhir, the church of the 
priest. In Kilcumreragh, tlie name of a parish in 
the south of TVestmeath, the word is so much dis- 
guised by corruption as to be unrecognisable. Mr. 
Ilennessy writes to me to say tliat this name is always 
written in old Inquisitions, Kilcrumreragh ; and that 
in the Down Survey it is in one place Killcrumragh- 
ragh, and in another Killcrumreaghragh ; all of 
which point plainly to Cill-Cruimthir-Fhiaclirach, the 
church of Priest FiacJira. 

Abbots. Ab or abb signifies an abbot, and is in 
constant use in Irish writings. It is merely the 
Latin word abbafs, but it was borrowed early, for it is 
found in the oldest Irish documents, as for instance 
in the manuscripts quoted by Zeuss. It sometimes 
takes the form of ap. Its usual genitive is nbadh or 
apadh [abba, appa], and this is the form generally 
commemorated in local names. Three miles from 
tlie town of Wicklow, near the entrance to the Devil's 
Grlen, is a well-known place called Inchanappa, the 
inch or river-island of the abbot, the inch being the 
rich meadow beside the Yartry. Nearly the same 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 93 

form of the word is found in Kilnappy in the parish 
of Faughanvale in Derry, the wood of the abbot ; 
while it is shortened to one syllable in Ballinab in 
the parish of Mothel in Waterford, the abbot's bally 
or townland ; and in Portanab, near Kildalkey in 
Meath, the bank or landing place of the abbot. 

Monks. The common Irish word for a monk is 
7nanaeh, which is only an adaptation of monachus, 
from which the English word monk is also derived. 
Managh, one of its English forms, is also the usual 
anglicised representative oi meadhonach, middle; and 
in individual cases the inquirer should be on his 
guard not to mistake one of these Irish words for the 
other. If niaitagJi be preceded by na, the genitive 
plural of the article, it may be taken to mean monks, 
otherwise it very often stands for middle. Thus 
Knocknamanagh in Cork and Galway is Cnoe-na- 
manaeli, the hill of the monks ; while Knockmanagh 
in Cork, Kerry, and Mayo, is Cnoc-meadhonach^rmdi- 
dle hill. When the anglicised word ends in y the 
meaning is seldom doubtful, as in the case of Farran- 
manny near Moate, inWestmeath, the same as Far- 
ranmanagh near Milltown, in Kerry, and Farranna- 
managh near Cloyne, in Cork, the monks' land. 

Kiln am an a gh, which is the name of several places, 
generally represents the Irish Cill-na-manach, the 
church of the monks; but sometimes, as in the case 
of Kilnamanagh in Tipperary, the Kil stands not for 
cill, a church, but for coill, a wood. Similar in forma- 
tion to this is Grarranamanagh, the name of a town- 
land andparish nearFreshford in Kilkenny', signifying 
the garden or shrubbery of the monks ; andDunnama- 
nagh,the name of a village in Tyrone, the monks' dun 
or fortress. When the word occurs in the genitive 
singular it is often anglicised many, as in Drummany, 

94 Offices and Trades. [cHAP. VI. 

the name of several townlands in Cavan, Druim- 
manaigh, the ridge of the monk ; iu this case also 
when the article is used, the m becomes aspirated to 
i\ as in Drumavanagh near the town of Cavan, 
Dniiiii a^-mhanaigh, the ridge of the monk; and here 
the interpretation is supported by the name of "The 
friar's avenue," which extends as far as another fea- 
ture — " The friar's well." With the southern pecu- 
liarity of retaining the final g in pronunciation, we 
have Rabavanig near Ballybunnion, Rath-a'-mhanaig, 
the monk's fort. Monknewtown, the name of a parish 
near Slane in Meath, is a sufficiently correct transla- 
tion of the Irish name, which is still remembered, 
Baile-nua-na-manach, the new town of the monks. 

Nuns. Cailleach, a nun, is one of the few Irish 
ecclesiastical terms not borrowed from Latin ; in an 
old Life of St. Brigid, it is stated to be derived from 
caille, a veil : — eailleach, the veiled one. But as 
cailleach also signifies an old woman — spelled the 
same as the former, though difi'ereutly derived — it is 
often hard to know which of the two meanings the 
word bears in names. 

In a spot at the south side of the city of Derry, 
there formerly stood a nunnery ; and its memory is 
still preserved in the name of a piece of land tliat 
belonged to it: — Ballynagalliagh, or in Irish -Sa;7f- 
na-gcaillcach, the townland of the nuns. There are 
several other places with this name, which probably 
in all these cases has a similar origin. Calliaghs- 
town is the name of several places iu Dublin, Meath, 
and Westmeath. We know that Calliaghstown in 
the parish of Kilsharvan, near Drogheda, had for- 
merly a little church dependant on the nunnery of 
St. Brigid at Odder, which originated the name (see 
" The Diocese of Meath," by the Rev: A. Cogan, L 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades, 95 

172) ; and we may be sure that the other places got 
their names for a like reason. Collierstown, near 
Skreen in Meath, is a corruption of the same name ; 
for in the Down Survey it is written Calliaghstown ; 
and this no doubt is the correct name of the other 
places now called Collierstown. 

Friars. Brathair [brauher] which literally sig- 
nifies a brother, is also the Avord used to denote a 
friar ; and in this respect it exactly resembles the 
word friar itself, which is the French frere (Lat. 
frater) a brother. Moreover it should be remarked 
that all the three words, brathair, frater, and brother, 
are only modified forms of the same original. There 
is a place near the city of Cork called Garranabraher, 
which must have been formerly a possession of some 
friary, for the name is Garrdlia-na-mbratltar, the gar- 
den of the friars. 

Anchorites. Ancoire, an anchorite, borrowed 
through the Latin from the Greek anachoretes, forms 
part of the name of Dunancory near Virginia in 
Cavan, and of Ballinanchor near Lismore in Water- 
ford, the former signifying the fortress, and the latter 
the townland, of the anchorite or hermit. 

Ord, genitive uird, is the same as the Latin ordo, 
and signifies order or rank, or ecclesiastical rule. 
From this term is derived the name of Kilworth in 
Cork (adjacent to Kilcrumper), which is to this day 
called in Irish Cill-uird, the church of the order, i. e. 
of the ecclesiastical rule or discipline. 

Druids. When St. Patrick arrived in Ireland to 
begin his Christian mission, one of the obstacles he 
encountered was the opposition of the druids; and we 
have several accounts — some historical, some legend- 
ary — of his contests with them at Tara and at other 
places. Druidism was the religion of the country in 

96 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

pagan times ; tliat is, if the people may be said to 
have had any generally diffused regular form of reli- 
gion or religious worship at all, which appears very 
doubtful. But the druids, if they did not influence 
to any great extent the inner religious life of the 
people, exercised enormous influence in another way ; 
for they were the depositaries of all the available 
knowledge of the times, and tliey were believed to be 
prophets and magicians possessed of tremendous su- 
pernatural powers. In some of the old historical 
romances, we find the issues of battles often deter- 
mined, not so ranch by the skill of the commanders 
or the valour of the combatants, as by the magical 
powers of the druids attached to the armies. Both 
the druids themselves and the popular belief in them, 
however, gradually sank before the influence of Chris- 

The old Celtic word for a druid is drui [dree] 
which takes a (i in the end of its oblique cases (gen. 
dniad) ; the Greek and Latins borrowed this word 
from the Celts, and tlirough them it has found its 
way into English in the form druid. Notwithstand- 
ing the long lapse of time since the extinction of 
druidism, the word drui is still a living word in the 
Irish language. Even in some places where the lan- 
guage is lost, the word is remembered ; for I have 
repeatedly heard the English-speaking people of the 
south apply the term shoundhree [sean-drui, old druid) 
to any crabbed, cunning, old fashioned looking fellow. 
This very term is perpetuated in the name of Lough- 
nashandree — the lake of the old druids — a very small 
lake near the head of Ardgroom harbour, south-west 
of Kenmare. 

And the memory of those old druidic sages is still 
preserved in local names, but only in a few scattered 

CHAP, VI.] Offices and Trades. 9t 

jjlaces. There is a conspicuous hill in the parish of 
8kreeu in Sligo now called Red Hill. Its ancient 
name was MuUacli-RuocVia [Mnllarua] Ruada's 
hill, and according to Duald Mac Firbis, it was so 
called from Huada, king- Dathi's Avife (see 1st Ser. 
Part II. c. II.), who was buried on it a few years be- 
fore the arrival of St. Patrick, and whose earn remains 
near the summit to this day. This name has been 
anglicised Mullaroe, which is still the name of a town- 
land near the hill ; and it was from the erroneous 
popular belief that the latter part of the name 
{RuadJia) was the wordruad/i, red, that the incorrect 
translation " Bed Hill" has been perpetuated. But 
the hill had another name — the one which concerns 
us here —viz., Ciioc-na-iulniadh [Knocknadrooa], i. e. 
the hill of the druids ; and this name was given to it 
" because," in the words of Mac Firbis, " the druids 
of Drif/ti, king of Erin, used to be on it obtain- 
ing knowledge [by observing the clouds, according 
to another account], for it was here they predicted to 
Dathi that he would obtain the kingdom of Erin, 
Alba, &c." (Hy F. pp. 97-8-9.) The name of Cnoc- 
na-ndruadh is now however totally forgotten in the 
place. A name nearly the same as this is Druim-na- 
ndruadJi, the ridge of the druids, which was the an- 
cient name of Cruaehan (now Rathcroghan near 
Bellanagare in Poscommon), the celebrated palace 
of the kings of Connaught. 

There is a well about two miles from the village of 
Freshford in Kilkenny, called Toberuadree, described 
in the Proc. P.I. A., Vol. IX., p. 430, by the late G-. 
V. Da Noyer. Mr. Du Noyer writes this name 
Tober-iia-druad, and attempts to show that it com- 
memorates a dniidess, on the grounds that na can- 
not be the genitive plural of the article, for then 


98 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

there should be an eclipsing;? ( Tohar-na-ndruad)^^}!!^^. 
there is not ; and that it must therefore be the genitive 
singular feminine — Tohar-na-druad, the well of the 
druidess. Butnothing can be inferred from the absence 
of the n in the modern form of this name. For though 
always in Irish, and generally in anglicised words, the 
sound of the eclipsing letter takes the place of that of the 
eclipsed letter, yet where n eclipses a d followed by 
r, the n invariably drops out in anglicising the word, 
while the d is retained ; for the very good reason that 
English speakers unaccustomed to Irish find it im- 
possible either to pronounce or to represent in English 
letters, the proper Irish combination of these sounds. 
The eclipsing letter also drops out in anglicising g 
eclipsed by n, and often in anglicising b eclipsed by m. 
So the proper Irish form of the present name is ob- 
viously Tola r-na-ndr Had, the well of the druids. 

There is a lake three miles west of Lough Derg 
in Donegal, called Loughnadrooa, the lake of the 
druids, and this name exhibits the same process of 
anglicisation as the last ; for though in the present 
name there is no 71, yet when the people pronounce 
the Irish name, the n is plainly heard. In the parish 
of Cloglierny in Tyrone is a townland called Killa- 
droy, which represents CoiU-a-druadh, the druid's 
wood ; and a point of land in Achill Island is named 
Gobnadruy, the druids' point. The name of Derry- 
druel, near Dunglow in Donegal, must be a corrup- 
tion, for the people pronounce it in Irish without the 
final /, Doire-drnadh, the druid's oak wood. 

Things ; Queens. Righ [ree], written r/in old Irish, 
is the usual Irish word for a king, cognate with the 
Latin rex, and with Grothic reiks. No general state- 
ment can be made as to why places received names 
containing this word ; for there are many different 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 99 

explanations in different places. We may conclude 
that some places so named were in former times the 
residence of petty kings ; that some were in the king's 
immediate possession ; while others commemorate an 
event or transaction in connexion with a king. Cer- 
tain places were called " King's Land" in English, 
or were known by some corresponding name in Irish, 
because they were held by tenants directly from the 
crown. There is a place near Dingle in Kerry called 
Monaree, Moin-a''-ri(jh, the bog of the king; which the 
people say was so called from the fact that in the be- 
ginning of the last century, turf was cut in this town- 
land, which was then a bog, for the use of the bar- 
rack of Dingle, in which there was a detachment of 

This term generally takes the form oi ree in angli- 
cised names; but as the genitive oifraccJi, heath, as- 
sumes in some cases the very same form, the two 
are occasionally liable to be confounded. Thus it is 
impossible to tell by an inspection of the mere mo- 
dern form whether Dunaree is anglicised from Dim- 
a^-righ, the fort of the king, or from Diin-ci'-fhraeigh, 
the fort of the heath ; and as a fact, the name is diffe- 
rently interpreted in different places. In Dunaree 
in the parish of Donaghmoj'ne in Monaghan, the last 
syllable means heath. But Dunaree in Cavan is a 
different name; it means the fort of the king; and the 
town of Kingscourt which it includes, retains the 
name in an English dress. The old fort of Dunaree 
still exists, a little to the west of the town. The form 
ree is also exhibited in Tooraree in Limerick and 
Mayo, the king's foor or bleach-field. The Four 
Masters record the legend that in the second year of 
the reign of Heremon, the nine rivers named Righ 
(King's river) burst forth in Leinster. There" are, 


100 Offices and Tmdes. [cHAr. vl. 

however, only four rivers in that province now known 
by the name, one of which is the E-j'e Water, which 
flows into the Liffey at Leixlip, and which retains 
the old name almost unchanged. 

We have also places named after queens. The 
usual Irish word for a queen is rioghan [reean], or in 
old Irish rigan ; the genitive of which is rioghna 
[reena]. We see it in the name of Bellarena, a well- 
known place at the mouth of the river Roe, four miles 
north of Limavady ; a name which was first applied 
to a ford across the Roe : — Bd-atha-rioglina, the 
queen's ford. In the parish of Clondermot, a little 
south of the city of Derry, is a townland called 
Tagharina, the house (fcach) of the queen. 

Knights. As far back in antiquity as our history 
and our oldest traditions reach, there existed in Ire- 
land an institution of knighthood. The knights of 
the Red Branch, who flourished about the beginning 
of the Christian era and had their chief residence at 
the palace of Emania, are the earliest mentioned in 
our ancient literature ; and the annalist Tighernagh 
records that their chief, the celebrated Cuchullin, re- 
ceived knighthood at seven years old. It is curious 
that this agrees with what another historian of a 
much later time and of a different nationality re- 
cords, namely Froissart, who tells us that when 
Richard II. visited Dublin in 1395, two Irish kings 
or chiefs of clans were presented to him ; and when 
they were urged to allow themselves to be knighted, 
they replied that they had long before received 
knighthood from their fathers at the age of seven 
years, according to an ancient practice by which Irish 
kings were accustomed to create their sons knights. 
Froissart goes on to say that the following ceremony 
was used on these occasions : — Each youth when 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 101 

about being knighted, runs a course with a slender 
lance proportioned to liis strength, against a shield 
set upon a stake in the middle of a field ; and he re- 
ceives greater or less honor according to the number 
of lances he breaks. And the historian states that 
the same custom existed among the Anglo-Saxon 

There are several Irish words for a knight or hero. 
One is ridire [riddera], which will be at once per- 
ceived to be the same as the Grerman ritter. When- 
ever this term occurs in names it is very easily de- 
tected ; as it generally assumes a form which fairly 
preserves the pronunciation. One of the best known 
examples of its use is in the name of Kilruddery, the 
seat of the earl of Meath, near Bray in Wicklow : — 
Cill-n'dire, the church of the knight. The present 
mansion, or rather the one that preceded it, must 
have been built on the site of an ancient church ; for 
besides the evidence of the name, I have heard it 
stated that when the workmen were sinking the foun- 
dations fifty years ago, they dug up large quantities 
of human bones. 

The Kniglit of Kerry is the owner of Ballin- 
ruddery near Listowel, Avhich possibly got its name — 
meaning the knight's townland — from one of his 
ancestors ; there is another place of the same name 
near Borrisokane in Tipperary ; while "^dth slight 
change of form, we have Ballinriddera near Multy- 
farnham in TVestmeath, and Ballinriddery near 
Mountmellick in Queen's County, which is also called 
by the correct cdia>i, Ivuightstown. With the same 
meaning, only with more serious modifications of the 
word, are Ballyruther near the sea coast, half way 
between Larne and Grlenarm in Antrim ; and 
Ballyrider near Stradbally in Queen's County. A 

102 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

little north of Castleisland in Kerry is the Grlana- 
ruddery range of mountains, which, like several other 
Irish ranges, took their name — signifying the glen of 
the knight — from one of their numerous valleys ; 
while the highest of all, at the southern termination 
of the range, just three miles from Castleisland, is 
now called the Knight's Mountain. When I have 
instanced Mullaghruttery near Clare-Galway (^)nul~ 
lach, a hill-summit), and Sheelruddera in the parish 
of Terryglass in Tipperary (the kuight's siol or pro- 
geny), I have enumerated all the principal varieties 
of form assumed by this word. 

Champions ; Heroes. Laech [pron. lay, with an aspi- 
rated c at end] means a hero or champion. It is very 
hard to distinguish this word in anglicised names from 
laegli, a calf, unless there be written authority for the 
original orthography. In some cases, however, even 
without any ancient record, the meaning cannot be 
doubted. Near Fortwilliam, half way between Bel- 
leek and Ballyshannon in Donegal, there is a crom- 
lech which has a more appropriate name than these 
ancient structures usually get, a name which embodies 
the tradition that this monument was erected over 
some renowned champion of far distant ages ; viz., 
Labbinlee, or in Irish Leaha-an-Jaeich, the bed or 
grave of the hero. There is a town] and of the same 
name south of Cootehill in Cavan — but spelt by some 
authorities in a way that brings out the meaning 
more clearly — Labbyanlee ; which no doubt received 
its name from a similar monument. 

Tlie term usually applied to the knights of the 
Ked Branch is curadh [curra], which means a cham- 
pion or knight. On the road from Ballylanders to 
Kilfinane in Limerick, is a place called Ahnagurra, 
which exactly represents the sound of the Irish Afh- 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 103 

na-gcuradh, the ford of tlie champions ; but why it 
got the name it is hard to say — probably it was the 
scene of a battle. 

I question whether any of the names derived from 
ridire are very ancient ; I am inclined to think they 
are derived from Anglo-Norman knights rather than 
from the knights of early Irish history. But it is 
not so with those derived from hicch and cnradh, 
most of which descend I believe from a very remote 

There are several other terms for a champion or 
warrior, almost all of which are perpetuated in local 
names. Seal signifies a spectre or apparition, and 
also a hero, which is probably a secondary meaning. 
It was, besides, often employed as a proper name. 
Thus the maternal grandfather of king Felimy 
the Lawgiver, was named Seal Balhh, or Seal 
the stammerer. The best example of its use is 
in Leac-an-seail or Lackanscaul, an unusually large 
cromlech in the townland of Kilmogue, about three 
miles from the village of Higginstown, in Kilkenny. 
This name is exactly like Labbinlee, and is quite as 
appropriate and suggestive, signifying the flag-stone 
of the hero ; but tradition and legend have quite for- 
gotten who the champion was — a man of no small 
note he must have been — over whom this immense 
monument was erected. 

In the ancient tale called the Tvomdaimh or Con- 
gress of the learned men, we are told that Guaire the 
Hospitable, King of Connaught in the seventh cen- 
tury, had a brother, an anchorite, named Marhhan, 
who lived in a hermitage in a place called Glenn-an- 
sedil the glen of the hero. One mile from the village 
of Oranmore in Galwa}^ there is a place of this name, 
now called Glenuascaul ; but whether it is the Glenn- 

104 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

an-scail of the hermit Marhhan, I have no means of 
determining. There is also a remarkable valley near 
Slemish Mountain in Antrim which was anciently 
called Glcann-an-scaU. Killascaul, the hero's wood, 
is the name of a place in the parish of Kiltullagh 
in Galway. A few miles east of Dingle in the wild 
barony of Corcaguinyin Kerry, there is a small river 
flowing from a lake : the lake is called Loughanscaul, 
the lake of the hero ; the river is Owenascaul, the 
hero's river ; and on it is situated the village of Anas- 
caul. Some intelligent persons from this neighbour- 
hood believe that scaul in these names signifies a 
shadow, and that the name originated in the deep 
shadows cast on the lake by the high cliffs that rise 
over its waters ; while others account for the names 
by a legend regai'ding a lady named Seal who was 
drowned in the lake. I do not think either account 
is correct, however ; partly because the analogy of the 
preceding names would lead to the presumption that 
scaul here means a hero ; but chiefly because the 
Irish name of the lake is LocJi-cui-sedil, not Loch-na- 
scaile, in the latter of which the article and noun are 
feminine, while in the former both are masculine, 
indicating that the word is seal a hero, not scdilc, a 
shadow, which is feminine. So with Owenascaul ; but 
as to Anascaul I do not know how it came by its 
present form ; for it would seem to be the anglicised 
re]iresentative of Af/t-iiet-scdl, the ford of the heroes, 
not of the hero. 

Treiin [train] signifies strong, brave, or powerful 
{tren, fortis : Zeuss, 166) ; and hence it is applied to 
a strong valiant man, a hero {trhiln, heroes : Zeuss, 
230). Some great champion, or perhaps a battle in 
which one of the leading warriors was slain, is com- 
memorated in Bellatraiu, a place on the borders of 

CHAT*. VI.] Offices and Trades. 105 

Cavan and Monaglian, three miles from the village of 
Shercoek ; which took its name from an old ford on 
the little river flowing from the lake of Shantonagh 
to Bellatrain lake : — Bel-atha-irtin, the ford-mouth 
of the hero. 

Galloglasses. — Those Irish soldiers called by the 
names (jallorjlass and hern, figure very prominently 
in the history of Ireland, especially in the later his- 
tory, and in the pages of Anglo-Norman writers. 
The galloglasses were heavy ai-med foot soldiers ; 
they wore an iron helmet, a coat of mail, and a long 
sword ; and carried in one hand a broad keen-edged 
battle-axe. Spenser, in his "View of the state of Ire- 
land," asserts tliat the Irish took the idea of the gal- 
loglasses from the English settlers ; and in this he is 
probably right ; for we do not find them mentioned 
in early Irish documents. Moreover the composition 
of the word further supports the assertion ; the Irish 
form is (jaUoglach, which is formed from (jail, a 
foreigner, and ogJach, a youth, vassal, or soldier : — 
gall-oglach, a foreign soldier. 

The Irish name of the village of Millford in the 
north of Donegal, which the people still use when 
speaking Irish, is Bel-na-ngalloglach, the ford of 
the galloglasses ; and in the parish of Loughgilly in 
Armagh, there is a townland taking its name from a 
rock, called Carrickgallogly ; the rock of the galloglass. 

Kerns. The kern were light armed foot soldiers. 
They wore light clothes ; carried no defensive armour 
except a head piece ; and they fought with darts or 
javelins to which a long string was fastened, swords, 
and sliiaus, or knife-like dao'Rers. The kerns are of 
great antiquity ; they are several times mentioned in 
the account of the battle of Moyrath, fought in the 
year A.n. 687; and Cormac Mac Cullenan speaks of 

106 Offices and Trades. [chap. yi. 

them in his Glossary, a document of the ninth century, 
and conjectures the etymology of the word : — " Ceifhern, 
a band of soldiers, whence cefhernach, a single man 
out of a cohort : from caf/i, a battle, and orii, slaugh- 
ter : i. e. slaughter in battle." The Irish word is 
cetJiern [kehern] ; which is a collective term, never 
applied to a single man, but always to a body. I 
will however, for the sake of clearness, use the Eng- 
lish plural from kerns when necessary. It must be 
observed that cethern was also used in very early 
times as the proper name of a man (see O'Curry, 
Lect., II., 313). 

We have a considerable number of local names 
which preserve the memory of these kerns ; the spots 
no doubt having formerly been selected as places of 
meeting or retreat ; perhaps some of them are battle 
fields. In Derrykearn near Mountrath in Queen's 
County, the derry or oak wood that formerly grew in 
the place, probably served as a shelter for these war- 
riors. Aughnacarney near Clogher in Tyrone, the 
field of the kerns, was perhaps one of their exercise 
grounds, or the scene of a battle ; a hill in the same 
locality has the name of Knocknacarney (the kerns' 
hill), which is also the name of a hill in the parish of 
Errigle Trough inMonaghan. There is a hill about six 
miles east of Donegal town called Croaghnakern, the 
rick of the kerns ; and in the same county, north of 
Lough Eask, is a place called Cronakerny, the kern's 
valley {cro). When a single person was intended to be 
designated, the adjective form cethearnach was used, 
as Cormac states in the passage quoted above ; and 
this word appears in Knockacaharna in the parish of 
Modeligo in Waterford, the kern's hill, 

A mhas [awas] means a hired soldier, a soldier who 
serves for pay ; this is the sense in which the word is 

CHAP. Yi.] Offices and Trades. 107 

used in the Irish annals, and this seems to be the 
meaning intended in Cormac's Glossary : — " Amos, a 
soldier, i. e. r/ ;;?/?. 7/i9.s, restless, because be is never at 
rest or stationary, but going from place to place, or 
from one lord to another." The Four Masters at 
A. D. 1323, record a battle fought between the O'Far- 
rells and the Bermiughams at a place called Coill-nan- 
amhus, the wood of the soldiers ; and the name of 
this place, which is situated near Granard in Long- 
ford, still survives in the form of Killinawas. The 
word assumes a different form in Ballynanoose in the 
parish of Killoscully in Tipperary : — Baile-nan-amhas, 
the town of the hired soldiers. 

Creaghts. For a long period, while society in Ire- 
land was in an unsettled state, the chieftains fortified 
themselves in strong castles, and made war or con- 
cluded peace with their neighbours, with little or no 
reference to the government of the province or the 
kingdom. Cattle raids were a usual form of this 
petty warfare ; and these plundering expeditions 
were the frequent cause of desperate feuds ; for the 
spoilers were often pursued and overtaken, and then 
there was sure to be a battle. Traditions of such 
incursions are still told by the peasantry in every 
part of the country, and records of them abound in 
the pages of the Four Masters and other annalists. 

CacraUjheaclit [Keereeaght] signifies primarily a 
flock of sheep, from caera, a sheep ; but it is used in 
a general sense to signify any herd of cattle. The 
men who took care of cattle in time of peace, or who 
drove the preys in time of war, were also designated 
by the same word, which in the anglicised form creagJtt, 
is constantly met with in the pages of Anglo- Irish 
writers of the last three or four hundred years, and 
used by them in both senses. The creaghts were 

108 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

regularly officered like the kerns and galloglasses ; 
and they were usually armed with a club, and a 
meadofje or long knife. They led a free and wander- 
ing life, knew the haunts and habits of cattle, and' 
were intimately acquainted with all the intricacies, 
the secret paths, the toghers, and passes of the moun- 
tains, bogs, and morasses. 

Places frequented by these people and their herds, 
or where they used to conceal their preys, still often 
retain names formed from this word creaght. Near 
the head of Mulroy bay in Donegal, there is a little 
lake called Loughuacreaght, the lake of thecreaghts. 
There are two townlands in Tyrone called Lisna- 
creaght, where the old fortifications of the lis must 
have been taken advantage of to shelter and defend 
the cattle. Sometimes the word caera'ujheacht was 
aj^plied to the mountain bodies or temporary settle- 
ments of shepherds' huts (see 1st Ser. Part II., 
c. VII.) ; and it is in this sense no doubt that it has 
given names to some places in Wexford, now called 
Kereight, wJiich very correctly represents the ori- 

Tliieces. In times of civil war or social disturbance, 
one of the most tempting and profitable occupations 
a man could follow is that of a highway robber or 
common thief; and as we have had our own share of 
warfare and tumult, so we have had gangs of freeboot- 
ers infesting every part of the country. We know this 
to be the case from history and tradition ; but even 
local names afford very plain indications of it. Places 
where bands of robbers fixed their lair and hid their 
plunder are often known by the word hradach, which 
signifies a thief or thievish. It occurs in a good number 
of names, and usually takes the forms braddagh, hrada, 
and hrady. Boherbraddagh is the name of a town- 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 109 

land near Adare in Limerick, signifying the road of 
the thieves ; of simihir formation is Moneenbradagh 
near Castlebar in Mayo (iiioneeii, a little bog) ; and 
Grlenbradagh near Aghada below Cork, the glen of 
the thieves. The hill of Benbradagh over the town 
of Dun given {lien, a peak) must have at one time 
afforded asylum to the plunderers that laid the sur- 
rounding district under tribute ; and at some former 
period a police barrack must have been sadly wanted 
at Balbradagh, near Bective in Meath, and at Bally- 
brad a near Cahir in Tipperary, the names of which 
signify thievish town or the town of the thieves. 

Gadaighe [gaddy] is another word for a thief, 
which is commemorated in Balgaddy, the town of 
tlie thief, the name of two townlands in the county 
Dublin, one near Clondalkin, and the other near 
Balbriggan ; which has the same meaning as Ballin- 
gaddy, the name of some places in (Jlare and Lime- 
rick ; and Ballj^gaddyinGalway, Kildare, and King's 

Some of these last mentioned places took their 
names from a legendary personage, celebrated all 
over Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland, about 
whom many popular stories are still current in both 
countries, Gadaighe duhh O^LuhJidln, or the Black 
thief O'Duane. 

Bards ; Poets. From the earliest period of history 
we find mention of hards or poets among the Celts ; 
they are mentioned by Ctesar, by Strabo, and indeed 
by every ancient writer who treats of the Celtic 
nations. In ancient Ireland the bard was inferior to 
the fill ; the latter was the teacher of philosophy, 
literature, history, rhetoric, &c. ; the former was 
merely a versifier or rhymester. There were various 
classes of bards, and each class had its own special 

110 Offices and Trades. [chap, vi. 

form of poetry. Attaclied to every great cliieftain's 
household there was a bard, whose office it was to 
recite the exploits of his patron's ancestors, to com- 
pose laudatory poems on him and on the tribe over 
whom lie ruled, to celebrate their deeds of arms in 
verse, &c. 

We have many places named from bards ; in some 
cases these names indicate that the lands were held 
by them as a reward for their professional services ; 
and where this is not tlie case they point out the 
places where bards formerly resided. One of these 
is Derrybard near Fintona in Tyrone, the bard's oak 
grove. But the word is generally changed in form 
either by aspiration or eclipse of the first letter. In 
the former case it usually assumes the form ward; as 
in Grortaward near Inver in Donegal, Gort-a' -hhaird, 
the field of the bard ; and with the same meaning, 
Agh award in Roscommon, three miles south of Drum- 
sna. So also Glenaward in the parish of Moylagh 
in Meath, the bard's glen ; and Ballyward, the name 
of some places in Down, Tyrone, and Wicklow, the 
townland of the bard. 

In case of eclipse the word becomes inard, as we 
see in Aghnamard near Newbliss in Monaghan, 
Achadh-na-mhard, the field of the bards; Latnamard 
in the same neighbourhood, Leacht-na-mhard, the 
bards' sepulchral monument, indicating the spot 
where several were buried — perhaps the burial mound 
of those that lived in Aghnamard. 

This is the origin of the family name Mac- an- 
Bliaird [Mac-an-Ward] i. e. literally son of the 
bard, which is now always written Ward. The family 
of Mac-an-Bhaird were the hereditary poets of the 
O'Kellys of Hy Many in Connaught ; and they re- 
sided at Muine-chasam and Baile-mic-an-Bhaird, the 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. Ill 

latter of which retains the name in the anglicised 
form Ballymacward, now applied to a parish near 

Eigcas [aigas] signifies any learned man, but the 
term is usually applied to a poet. In the parish of 
Aghnamullin in Monaghan there is a lake called 
Lough Egish, the poet's lake ; and over its western 
shore rises a hill called Tullynanegish, the hill of the 
poets, which gives name to a townland. Near the 
demesne of Thomastown, six miles south-west of Ath- 
lone, a little south of the railway line, there is a 
little lake called Lough Nanegish, the lake of the 
poets. It is likely that at some former time families 
of hereditary poets lived at these places.. 

Betaghs. In ancient times an Irish chieftain usu- 
ally established within his territory a sort of public 
hostelry, over which he placed an officer called a 
hiadhtach [beetagh] or food-man (from biad/i, food). 
This biadlihch or public victualler held a tract of land 
rent free, on condition that he should supply food 
and lodging without charge to travellers, and to the 
chief's soldiers whenever they happened to march in 
that direction. The land attached to one of these 
houses was called a BaUe-hiadhtaigh or victualler's 
town, and contained 480 large Irish acres. The bia- 
taghs were held in great estimation, and their me- 
mory is still preserved in a few place-names. There 
are three townlands in Cork and Kilkenny called 
Ballynametagh, in Irish BaUe-na-nihiadhtach, the 
town of the victuallers, so called probably because 
they formed part of the property attached to a house 
of entertainment. Similar in formation, and proba- 
bly in origin, is Cloonametagh near Abbey dorney in 
Kerry, and Grarraunnameetagh near the village of 
Tynagh in Gralway, the meadow and the shrubbery 
of the victuallers. 

112 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

Sfeicords. Among the various functionaries enu- 
merated in thefaiiiilia of Armagh, we find mention 
of a waei', i. e. a steward or keeper, who was the ap- 
pointed guardian of certain sacred relics, such as the 
bell, book, and crozier of St. Patrick. This office 
was hereditary ; the family kept the relics subject to 
certain conditions, one of which was that they should 
be ready at all times to produce them when required ; 
and in payment fur this duty of guardianship, they 
held tracts of land from the see of Armagh, free of 
rent. The family to whom, was intrusted the custody 
of the celebrated Book of Armagh, were from that 
circumstance called Mac Maeir or MacMoyre — the son 
of the steward or keeper ; and they held in free ten- 
ancy eight townlands, which are now united into one 
parish called Ballymyre, the townland of the keeper, 
situated about eight miles south-east of Armagh 
(Reeves : Eccl. Ant. p. 150). 

This word maer is pretty frequent in names ; and 
though we have not such positive information regard- 
ing them as in the last case, we may be sure that the 
several places so designated were formerly held in 
fee by families who were guardians of lands, cattle, 
or sacred reliquaries, for neighbouring chieftains. 
Ballynamire is the name of three townlands in Car- 
low, King's County, and Wexford, and it signifies 
the town of the keepers. When the word occurs in 
the singular the m is often changed to ?r by aspira- 
tion. Tinwear near Durrow in Queen's County, is 
shortened from Tigh-an-mkaeir, the house of the 
keeper ; Lackaweer in the parish of Inishkeel in 
Donegal, the steward's flag stone. 

Sco/oges. Scoiog signifies a small farmer; the term 
is still in general use, but it is used in a somewhat 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 113 

contemptuous sense. Wherever it occurs in a local 
name there is no mistaking it, as will be seen from 
the following examples. Near Lisnaskea in Fer- 
managh there is a place called Farransculloge, the 
fearann or land of the petty farmers. Balljnascul- 
loge is the name of a place near Blessington in Wick- 
low, and of another near Athy in Kildare ; the name 
signifies the farmers' townland ; and in another part 
of Kildare this same name, in the half translated 
form Scullogestown, designates a parish. 

Shepherds. The usual word for a shepherd is aedh- 
aire [aira], which is derived from aedh^ an old word 
for a sheep. It enters into the formation of a con- 
siderable number of names ; and it is in general not 
difficult of recognition in its anglicised forms. Cor- 
raneary, the name of several townlands in Cavan and 
Leitrim, Corranarry in Tyrone, and Cornery in Cork, 
are in Irish Cor-an-aedhaire, the round hill of the 
shepherd ; Killyneary in Cavan, and Killyneery in 
Tyrone, the shepherd's wood; Cappaneary in Queen's 
County [ceapach^ a tilled plot) ; Drumary in Ferma- 
nagh and Monaghan, and Drumaneary near Inver 
in Donegal {drubn, a hill-ridge) ; and we have a place 
called Canary in Armagh, which however does not de- 
rive its name from canes, dogs, like the Canary islands, 
but {xQim.ceann: — Ceann-aedhaire,i]iQ shepherd's head 
or hill. 

Widows. The names of many places in Ireland 
commemorate widows ; and this is one of the numer- 
ous examples that show how fond the Irish were of de- 
signating people by an epithet expressive of some well 
marked peculiarity, rather than calling them directly 
by their own names. Baintreabhach [pron. bointra- 
vagh, but generally bointra] is our usual Avord for a 
widow, probably derived from treahh [trav] a house 


114 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

and lean, a woman: — treahhach, a housekeeper; hain- 
treahhach, literally a female housekeeper. Avery good 
example of its use is found in Ballynabointra, the 
name of a place near Carrigtohill in Cork, Baile-na- 
hatntreabhaig/ie, the townland of the widow. When 
the word occurs in the genitive plural with the article, 
the b is changed to tn by eclipse, but otherwise there 
is usually very little change. This is seen in Bally- 
namintra near Dungarvan in Waterford, and in 
Ballynamointragh a mile or two from the strand of 
Tramore in the same county, both from Baile-na- 
mbaintreabhach, the townland of the widows ; in Lis- 
namintry near Portadown in Armagh, (/?"s, a fort); 
and in Mulmontry near Taghmon in Wexford, the 
widows' hill. 

Tanners. The peasantry had formerly a rude me- 
thod of tanning the hides of animals, which, in re- 
mote parts of the country, is practised to this day. 
They first filled the hide with lime, and immersed it 
in a bog-hole to loosen the hair ; after ten or eleven 
days they took it out, cleaned off" the lime, and in 
order to thicken the hide, put it into a cask to steep 
for about three weeks, with the root of a plant called 
cromelbj or neachartach^ which also gave it a brown 
colour. After this it was rubbed between boards with 
milk, to make it smooth and pliable, and then dried, 
when it was fit for use. There were people who prac- 
tised this as a means of livelihood, the trade proba- 
bly descending from father to son ; and the places 
where the professional tanners lived may now in 
numerous cases be known by their names. 

Siidaire [soodera] is the Irish word for a tanner. 
The word is exhibited with very correct pronuncia- 
tion in Kilnasudry, near the village of Killeagh, west 
of Youghal in Cork, Coill-na-sudairighe, the wood of 

CHAP. VI.] Offices and Trades. 11.5 

the tanners ; and in Ballynasuddeiy near Kilbeggan 
iu Westmeath, the town of the tanners. When the 
word occurs in the genitive singular, the first s is 
usually changed to t by eclipse ; and this is seen in 
Edenatoodry, southwards from Fintona in Tyrone, 
Eudan-a'' -tHudah'e, the hill brow of the tanner ; in 
Knockatudor near Stradone in Cavan, the tanner's 
hill ; and iu Listooder near the village of Crossgar iu 
Down, written Listowdrie in one of the Hamilton 
Patents, Avhere a tanner practised his trade in or near 
the old //-s or fort. 

Another word that indicates where the process of 
tanning was carried on is hatliar [laher] ; it has the 
same signification as the English word leather^ but is 
not borrowed from it, for we find the word in Cor- 
mac's Glossary in the form Idhnr : Welsh lledr. This 
word is well exemplified in Curraghalaher on the 
Roscommon side of the Shannon, near Athlone, the 
marsh of the leather ; and in Clashalaher, the name 
of two townlands in Tipperary, one near Cashel and 
the other near Tipperary town, where the dash or 
trench was probably the place in which the hides 
were steeped. 

Croiceann [cruckeu] signifies a skin or hide {cro- 
cenii, tergus ; Z. 69) ; and when it occurs in names it 
is probable that, like kaf//rir, it indicates the former 
residence of tanners. Killycracken in Monaghan 
represents the Irish Coill-a'-chroiciiui, the wood of the 
hide ; and of similar formation is Cloncracken {clon, 
a meadow), near Boscrea in Tipperary. 

Potters. A potter is denoted hy potaire [puttera], 
which is formed on the Irish word pota, a pot. Near 
Buttevant in Cork is a townland called Clashna- 
biittry ; here thep is eclipsed by /> in the genitive plu- 
ral, the Irish form being C/ais-na-bpotaijrt.'.l'i, the 


116 Offices and Trades. [chap. vi. 

trench of the potters ; and we may conclude that the 
trench supplied the clay for carrying on the manu- 
facture. A better known place is Pottlerath in the 
parish of Kilmanagh in Kilkenny, which was for- 
merly one of the residences of Mac Richard Butler, a 
distinguished chieftain of the Butler family in the 
loth century ; and where there are still the ruins of 
a castle and a church. This place is called in Irish 
documents Rapi-a^ -phot aire, the fort of the potter ; 
hut in the present spoken Irish it is corruptly ^vo- 
nonnced Hafh-H-photaile (change of r to /; 1st Ser. 
Part I., c. III.), from which by an attempted trans- 
lation, the name Pottlerath (instead of the correct 
Pottersrath) has been formed. The old rath wliere 
the potter in some remote time took up his residence, 
is still there. 

Weavers. Mageoghegan, in his translation of 
the Annals of Clonmacnoise, remarks of John, the 
son of Malion O'Conor, that he " was the sonne of 
a woman that could weave, which of all trades is of 
greatest reproach amongst the Irishrye, especially the 
sons and husbands of such tradeswomen, and there- 
fore Shane More was nicknamed the weaving- 
woman's Sonne." The Irish word for a weaver is 
Ugliendoir [i'eedore]. There is a small pool a mile 
and a half south of Cashel, giving name to a town- 
land, called Lough Feedora, the weaver's lake ; and 
Ballineedora is the name of a place four or five miles 
east of Tralee, which exactly represents the sound of 
BnHe-an-fhigheadora, (/aspirated and omitted), the 
town of the weaver. 

Fullers. Thomas Dineley, who made a tour 
through Ireland in 1675, thus describes, as he saw 
it, " The manner of tucking and thickening cloth 
without a mill. They place the cloth doubled upon 

CHAP. VI. i Offices and Trades. ■ ll7 

a large wicker or twiggen door called an liurle, and 
work it with their hands nnd feet, until it becomes 
thick by rowling;" — sprinkling it all the time with 
a suitable liquid. In remote districts cloth is still 
thickened in this rude way by being worked for a 
long time with the feet in a properly prepared mix- 

A fuller is designated by the word ucaire [ookera] ; 
and the occurrence of this word in names indicates 
the places where the home-made frieze used to be 
fulled and napped. As the word usually retains a 
form easily detected, one or two examples of its use 
will be sufficient. There is a townland near Aghada 
below Cork, called Ballynookery, i. e. Baile-an-ucaire, 
the town of the fuller ; and Knockanooker near the 
village of Hacketstown in Wicklow, signifies the 
fuller's hill. 

Pedlars. Ceannaicjhe [cannee] signifies a mer- 
chant, a dealer of any kind. There is a ford over a 
stream a mile south of Oldcastle in Meath, which is 
mentioned by the Four Masters at a. d. 1482, as the 
scene of a defeat inflicted on the Plunk ets b}^ Art 
O'Conor ; and called by them Ath-na-gccannaicjJieadh 
[Annaganny] the ford of tlie pedlars or merchants. 
The place is now called in Irish by the synonymous 
name BeJ-atha-na-gceaimaiglieadli [Bellanaganny] ; 
but this suggestive old name has been laid aside for 
the modern name Mill Brook. There is a place of 
the same name in the parish of Aghabulloge near 
Macroom in Cork, now called Annagannihy, which 
took its name from a ford on the little river Aghalode. 
Near Carrignavar in the same county, two roads 
meet at a spot now called Crossernagannee, the cross- 
roads of the pedlars. Mangaire [mong'ara] is another 
Irish word for a pedlar ; and we find it in Ballynamong- 

118 Offices and Trades. [chap. vl. 

aree near Glan worth in Cork, the town of the ped- 
lars. It is probable that pedlars formerly lived in 
these places or were in the habit of exhibiting their 
wares there to tempt the passers by, which gave rise 
to the names. 

Ganiesfers. A gambler, or gamester, is designated 
in Irish by the word cenrrhhach [carvagh, carroogh], 
which is still in common use ; in the south, even 
among the English speaking people, they call a card- 
player a carroogh. The peasantry are fond enough 
of card playing at the present day ; but they appear 
to have been still more addicted to it in former times. 
Campion, in his " History of Ireland," written in the 
year 1571, says: " There is among them a brotherhood 
oicarrowes that professe to play at cards all the yeare 
long, and make it their onely occupation. . . . They 
waite for passengers in the higliway, invite them to 
a gnme upon the greene, and aske no more but com- 
panions to hold them sport." Spenser also in his 
" Yiew of the State of Ireland," describes the " Car- 
rows, which is a kind of people that wander up and 
down to gentlemen's houses, living only upon cards 
and dice." 

One of the best illustrations of this word is Lisna- 
garvy, which was the old name of Lisburn, and which 
is still retained as the name of a townland adjoining 
the town. The origin of this name is very clearly 
set forth in a passage quoted in the " Ulster Journal 
of Archoeology (Yol. Y., p. 15S)), from a pamphlet 
published in 1(391 : — " "\Ye marched towards Lisburn: 
this is one of the prettiest towns in the north of Ire- 
land : the Irish name is Lisnegarvah, which they tell 
me signifies ' gamesters ' mount ; ' for a little to the 
north-east of the town there is a mount moated about 
and another to the west. These were formerly sur- 

CHAP. VII.] Strangers. 119 

rounded with a great wood ; and thitlier resorted all 
the Irish outlaws to play at cards and dice." The 
" mount moated about" is one of the ancient lisses; and 
it was from this that the place took the name of Lios- 
na-gcearrhhach, the fort of the gamblers. The present 
nameLisburn retains the first syllable ; the syllable 
hum, it is said, commemorates a conflagration by 
which the town was at one time totally destroyed. 

The c of this word is usually eclipsed, as in this 
last name ; another example of which is Cloghanna- 
garragh in the parish of Noghaval in Westmeath, 
a name which I suppose indicates that the old clochan 
or stone building was turned to the same use as the 
fort at Lisburn. Sometimes, however, the c is re- 
tained ; as in Meenacharvy in Glencolumkille in 
Donegal, Min-ci' -chean'hhaigh, the nieen or mountain 
meadow of the gamester. 



When a foreigner came to live in Ireland, the place 
in which he settled often received a name indicating 
his nationality. The term to express a native of any 
particular country is usually formed by adding the 
adjective termination ach (p. 3) to the name of the 
country : thus Francach, a Frenchman, Lochlannach, 
a native of Lochlann or Norway. 

Welshmen. Breathnack, which is merely the word 
Briton, modified according to the phonetic laws of 

120 Strangers. [chap. vii. 

the Irish language, is used to signify a Welshman. 
As Mayo was called Mayo of the Saxons (see Mayo 
in 1st Ser.) so Gallen in the King's County was for 
a like reason called Gailinnc na mBvetann, or Gallen 
of the Britons ; for a monastery was erected there in 
the end of the fifth century for British monks by St. 
Canocus, a Welshman. In the later colloquial lan- 
guage the word Breathnach has been confined in its 
application to those who have adopted the family 
name of Walsh ; and this is the sense in which it is 
generally understood in local names. Ballybrannagh, 
Ballynabrannagh, and Ballynabrennagh, which are 
all townland names in various counties, signify 
" the town of the Walshes," or of the families called 

Sometimes we find the word Breatan with the t 
fully sounded ; but in this case it seems to be a per- 
sonal name, of the same origin however as Breath- 
nach, i. e. indicating British or Welsh origin. Britan 
we know occurs as a personal name in early Irish 
history ; thus Britan Mael was one of the sons of the 
mythical personage Nemedius, and according to the 
bardic fable gave name to Britain. Kilbrittain on 
the south coast of Cork, at the head of Courtmac- 
sherry Bay, took its name from some person of this 
name, who probably built the cUl or church ; Gart- 
bratton {Bretan''s field) is the name of two townlands 
in Cavan ; and we have Ballybritain in Deny, and 
Bally brittan in King's County, Bretan's town. 
There is a parish in Kilkenny adjoining the county 
Tipperary, called Tubbridbritaiu, which is called in 
the "Circuit of Ilarchcartach Mac Neill,'' Tiohraide 
Britain biiain, the wells of long-lived Britan ; but we 
do not know who this venerable personage was. 

Scotchmen. A Scotchman is generally designated 

CHAP. Yii.] Strangers. 121 

in Irish, by Alhanach, a term derived from Alba (gen. 
A/ban), the old Celtic name of Scotland. Bally- 
albanagh, the Scotchman's town, is the name of a 
place in the parish of Ballycor in Antrim. Two 
miles south of the village of Milltown Malbay in 
Clare, is a townland called Knockanalban, shortened 
from Cnoc-an-AIbannigh, the Scotchman's hill ; and 
there is a place in the parish of Kilgeever in Mayo, 
called Derreennanalbanagh, the little oak-wood of 
the Scotchmen. 

Englishmen. We have several terms for an English- 
man, one of the most common of which is Sacsonach, 
or more generally Sasso)iach, which is merely the 
word Saxon with the usual termination. The word 
was in constant use in the early ages of the Church — 
the sixth and seventh centuries — when manj^ natives 
of Britain came to study in the schools of Ireland ; 
and England itself is often called in Irish writings, 
Saxon-land. The word Sassonach is still used in the 
spoken language, but it is now generally understood 
to mean a Protestant, and it is commonly used in an 
offensive sense ; but these shades of meaning are vul- 
gar and very modern. 

Near Saint field in Down there is a place called 
Craignasasonagh, the rock of the Saxons or English- 
men ; Bohernasassonagh {hothar, a road) lies three 
miles south-west from Tuam in Galway. With the 
first -s eclipsed ( as it ought to be in the genitive sin- 
gular with the article) and with the south Munster 
form of the genitive, we find the word in Knockatas- 
sonig near Mizen Head in Cork, Cnoc-a -tSassona ig, 
the Englishman's hill. 

Romans. I have already mentioned that among 
those who came in early ages to study in Ireland, 
numbers were from the continent (see p. 89, siqjra). 

122 Strangers. [chap. vii. 

Many of these are commemorated in the Litany of 
Aengus the Culdee, a document of the end of the eighth 
century; and we have besides, other historical evi- 
dences in the lives of the early Irish saints. Some came 
even from Rome. Near the church of St. Brecon on 
the great Island of Aran, tliere is a headstone which 
appears to be as old as the sixth century, with the in- 
scription "vii.ROMANi," "Seven Romans," who proba- 
bly spent their peaceful days as pilgrims in companion- 
ship with St.Brecan himself (Petrie, R. Towers, 139). 
Local names give testimony to the same effect. Kil- 
narovanagh is the name of an old church south of Mac- 
room in Cork, and of another between Killarney and 
Miltown in Kerry ; signifying the church of the 
Romans {RomJianach, pron. Rovanagh, a Roman) ; both 
of which probably received their names from being the 
burial places of Roman pilgrims. There is a townland 
in the parish of Kilmore in the east of Roscommon, 
called Rathnarovanagh ; the Four Masters, in record- 
ing the fact that it was presented in 1248, by Felim 
O'Conor the son of Cathal of the Red Hand, to the 
canons of Kilmore, call it Rath-na-Romhdnach ; and 
Duald Mac Firbis, in his translation of the Irish 
Annals, (Irish Misc., I., 243), writes it with a trans- 
lation, '■'■ Ralth-na-Romanach, i.e. [the fort J of the 

When persons migrated from one part of Ire- 
land to another, the places where they settled 
often got names indicating the provinces from which 
they came ; and names of this kind are contributed 
by all the four provinces. 

Leinstermen. Laighneach [Lynagh] isaLeinsterman, 
from Laighean, the Irish name of Leinster. There is a 
place near Kilfinane in Limerick, called Ballinlyna ; 
another called Ballinliny, three miles from Newcastle 

CHAP. VII.] Strangers. 123 

ill the same county ; a third near the village of Grolden 
in Tipperarj, called Ballinlina ; and there are two 
townlaiids called Ballylina also in Tipperarj^: — all 
these names signify the town of the Leinsterman. 

ConiiaiKjhtmcn. Connachtach, a Connaughtman, is 
preserved in Ballynagonnaghtagh (first c eclipsed by 
g) in the parish of Dysert, Clare, the town of the 
Connaughtmen. In the townland of Ballygeely in 
the parish of Kilshanny, north of Ennistymon in 
Clare, there is a great monumental mound now called 
Carn-Connachtach, the earn of the Connaughtmen ; 
which O'Donovan believes to be the Carn-Mic-Tail 
mentioned in the Annals (Four M., V., 16G9, note u). 

JIiuisferDicn. From 3Iu)nha, genitive Mumhan 
[Mooan], Munster, we \iqnq Muimhneach [Mweenagh], 
a Munsterman. It would appear that immigrants 
from across the Shannon must have settled in 
Cloontj^mweenagh (the clooiis or meadows of the 
Munsterraen) near the village of Scarriff in Clare, 
close to the shore of Lough Derg, before or about 
the time of the annexation of Clare to Munster. 
Nearly the same form as this occurs in Bawntana- 
meenagh near Freshford in Kilkenny, the Munster- 
men's bainis or green fields ; and a slightly different 
in Newtown Moynagh near Trim in Meath, i. e. 
Newtown of the Munstermen. 

Uldermen. UlridJi [ulla] is the Irish name of 
Ulster, from which we have Ullacliov Oltach, an Ulster- 
man, which assumes slightly varied forms in dif- 
ferent local names. Cooloultha in the parish of Erke 
in Kilkenny, signifies the Ulsterman's corner ; a 
better form is seen in Knockanulty near Ennisty- 
mon in Clare (cnoc, a hill) ; and in Boleynanoul- 
tagh_ near Kildorrery in Cork, the booley or dairy 
place of the Ulstermen. As the genitive form «« A 

124 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viit. 

of the article is used in Cloonnahultj in tlie parish, 
of Aghamore in Mayo — indicating the singular 
feminine — we must conclude that the name signi- 
fies the cloon or meadow of the Ulsterwoman. 



In order that the reader maj' better understand 
the substance of this chapter, it is necessary to show 
in a general w^ay how Irish personal and family 
names took their rise, and to explain and illustrate 
certain laws observable in the derivation of local 
names from both. 

It may be said that we know nearlj^ all the personal 
names formerly in use in this country, through the 
medium of our ancient literature and inscriptions ; 
and a large proportion of them still survive in daily 
use, though in most cases greatly clianged from their 
original forms. When we examine them in their 
most ancient orthography, we can easily perceive 
that all are significant ; but though most of them 
bear their meanings plainly on their face, many are 
now exceedingly obscure, either because they have been 
handed down to us incorrectly by the old transcrib- 
ers, or that the words composing them have long 
since become obsolete. 

In very early ages individuals usually received 
their names from some personal peculiarity, such as 
colour of hair, complexion, size, figure, certain acci- 
dents of deformity, mental qualities, such as bravery, 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 125 

fierceness, &c., &c. ; and we have only to look at 
the old forms of the names to remove any doubt we 
may entertain of the truth of this assertion. 

We need not hesitate to pronounce that the man 
who first received the name of Duhhdn [Duane] was 
so called from his dark hair and complexion ; for it 
is a diminutive of duhh [duv], black ; and Duhhdn 
signifies as it stands, a black or dark complexioned 
man. Moreover it is very ancient, for we find it in the 
Book of Leinster and Lehor na hJJidhre as the name 
of persons mixed up with our earliest traditions ; and 
it is still in use as a family name disguised under the 
forms of Dwane, Dwain, Downes, &c. 

Some person of this name must have lived at 
Dundooan near Ooleraine, and another at Dundooan 
in the peninsula of Rosguill in the north of Done- 
gal, for the name of both signifies Duhhans fortress. 
The parish of Hook in Wexford — that long narrow 
peninsula bounding Waterford harbour on the east — 
came by its present name in a curious way. The old 
name of the place, as it is written in several charters, 
was Raudouan or Riudown ; and it was so called 
from St. Dowan, who, according to a Patent Eoll of 
Henry VIII., was the patron saint of Hook. This Dow- 
an, whose correct name was DuhJian, is commemorated 
in the Irish Calendars at the 11th of February. He 
was one of a family of brothers and sisters, who set- 
tled in Ireland at the end of the sixth century, chil- 
dren of a British king named Bracan ; among whom 
were Dabheog of Lough Derg, Paan of CiU-Phuain 
(now Kilfaue in Kilkenny), Mochorog of Delgany 
(p. 26), and others. He was called Dubhan AUifhir 
or Dubhan the pilgrim, and he built a cell in a place 
which was afterwards called from him Riun-Dubhain, 
Dubhan's point. In the lapse of long ages St. Dubhan 

126 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

was forgotten ; and the people of Wexford, prefer- 
ring a name for the place with an English sound, 
attempted to translate the old native name. The 
word duhhan, in addition to the meaning already 
assigned to it, signifies also a fishing hook ; and as 
this appeared a very appropriate appellation for the 
long peninsula under consideration, they accord- 
ingly, knowing nothing of St- Duhhan, rendered Riiin- 
Dtibhain, Hook Point, and called the parish itself by 
the name of Hook. This identification we owe to 
the Rev. James Grraves (Kilk. Arch. Jour., Yol. III., 
1854-5), whom I have followed. 

Persons of this name, and of others founded on it, 
are commemorated in several other places. In the 
parish of ICilkeedy in Clare, seven miles north-east 
of Corofin, there is an old castle in ruins, now called 
Cloonoan, once belonging to the O'Briens, which 
was stormed by Sir Richard Bingham in the year 
1586 : the Four Masters, recording this event, give 
the true name — Cluain-Duhhain (D ubh art,'' s raeadow), 
which lost the d by aspiration in the process of 
anglicising. The parish of Kilmacduane near Kil- 
rush in Clare, takes its name from an old church, 
once belonging to the monastery of Inis Cafhaigh or 
Scattery Island ; it is mentioned in the life of St. Senan 
and in the Annals of the Four Masters, who call it 
Cill-mhec-Duhhain, the church of Duhhan s son. In 
the year 1579, Dermot O'Shaughnessy, one of the 
chiefs of the O'Shaughnessys of Kinelea in the south- 
east of Gralway, laid a snare for his brother's son, 
William, at a place po]3ularly called Ardmealuane, 
in the parish of Beagli in Galway, four miles south 
of Grort ; he succeeded in slaying his nephew, but 
the young man defended himself so well, that the 
assassin died of his wounds an hour after the combat. 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 127 

The Four Masters, in recording this event, call the 
place Ard-Maolduhhaiu, Mao/dub/ian's height; it con- 
tains the ruins of a castle, which is called Ardamul- 
livan in the Ordnance maps. 

Dubhan forms a part of several other personal 
and family names, but I will mention only one 
other, viz., Ciardhuhhan [Keeruwaun], which was 
formed b}' prefixing ciar to dubhan, very probably 
after the latter had lost its significance ; for ciar itself 
means black or very dark. This is the original form 
of the family name Kirwan or O'Kirwan, so well 
known and widely spread in the county Galway. 
There is a townland in the parish of Clondagad near 
the mouth of the Fergus in Clare, called Oraggy- 
kerrivan, which took its name from a member of this 
family; for the Four Masters, at a.d. 1600, call it 
Craig- Ui-Chiardhubhain, O'Kirwan's rock. 

It appears to me that many — perhaps the greater 
number of — descriptive or commemorative personal 
names were originally secondary or additional names, 
given in after-life, and subsequently retained, so as to 
supersede the first name. We have ample historical 
testimony that this custom was very general in Ire- 
land ; but these secondary names generally seem not 
to have been given in an offensive or opprobrious 
sense, but to have been accepted by the individuals 
as a matter of course. There are innumerable in- 
stances of this change of name in our histories, but I 
will mention only three. 

We are told that St. Patrick's first name was 
Succaf, which old writers interpret " warrior" (the 
latter part being cafh, a battle); that he was after- 
terwards called Cofhraige, signifying "four families," 
from the circumstance that, w^hile he was a slave 
in Ireland, he was the property of four masters, 

128 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viit. 

and was forced to serve them all. And finally he 
received the name Patricius, which was a title of dis- 
tinction among the Romans, meaning a patrician or 
noble person. 

The great hero, Cuchiillin, according to our tradi- 
tional history, had several names. He was first 
called Setanfa, and the reason why he received the 
name of CuclmlUn is the subject of a curious legend, 
told in several of our very old books, among others 
in Lehor-na-hUidhre. On one occasion Culand, a 
great artificer in metals, who had his residence and 
kept his forge near Slieve Gullion in Armagh, came 
to the palace of Emania to invite king Conor Mac 
Nessa and the Eed Branch Knights to a feast. Se- 
tanta, who was then a little boy, was also invited, 
for he happened to be on a visit at the palace at this 
very time ; but when the company set out, he re- 
mained behind to finish a game of ball with his com- 
panions, saying that he would follow very soon. He 
started ofi" in the evening, and arrived late at Cu- 
land' s residence ; but when he attempted to enter the 
house, he found the way barred by an enormous dog, 
which was kept by the artificer to guard his premises 
at night. The savage animal instantly set on him ; 
but the brave little fellow, in no degree terrified, va- 
liantly defended himself. 

When Culand and his guests heard the dreadful up- 
roar outside, the smith started up and asked in great 
alarm whether any of the company had remained 
behind ; for no one, he said, had ever approached 
the house at night without being torn in pieces by 
the dog. Then the king all at once recollected how , 
Setanta had promised to follow him, and Fergus Mao 
Roigh and several others of the guests rushed out to-: 
save him ; but when they came to the place, they i 

CHAP, VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 129 

found the great dog lying dead, and the young hero 
standing over him. Fergus, in great delight, snatched 
up the boy in triumph on his shoulder, brought him 
into the house, and placed him on the floor in pre- 
sence of the king and the whole assembly, who re- 
ceived him very joyfully. 

Culand, after he had first given vent to his glad- 
ness at the boy's escape, immediately fell to lament- 
ing his dog, complaining that his house and flocks 
would now have to remain unprotected. But young 
Setanta at once said that he would procure him a 
puppy of the same breed, if one could be found in all 
Erin, from Tonn Tuath in the north to the "Wave of 
Cleena in the south ; and he ofiered moreover, to take 
upon himself the charge of guarding the house at 
night till the young dog should be sufiiciently grown to 
take his place. Whereupon, the king's druid, Cathbacl, 
who happened to be present, proposed that the boy's 
name should be changed to Cu-Chulaind (Culand's 
hound) ; and he declared that he should be known by 
this name to all future generations, and that his fame 
and renown would live for ever among the men of 
Erin and Alba (see O'Curry, Lect. II., 362). 

In the ancient historical tale called " The Feast of 
Diin-na-ngedh,^' there is a very good example of the 
manner in which secondary names were given on 
account of personal deformities or peculiarities. The 
arch rebel, Congal Claen, in his angry speech to the 
king, enumerating his wrongs, tells him how, when 
he was one day left alone in the garden of the lis 
where he was nursed, a little bee stung him in one 
eye, so that the eye became awry, "from which," he 
says, "I have been named Congal Claen" — claen sig- 
nifying inclined or crooked. He goes on to relate how 
on another occasion he slew the king of Ireland, 


130 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

Sweeny Menn ; " and when the king was tasting 
death, he flung a chess-man which was in his hand 
at me, so that he broke the crooked eye in my head. 
I was squint-eyed (clacn) before ; I have been blind- 
eyed (cflfc/i) since." Accordingly we find him called 
in old documents by both names, Congal Claen, and 
Conyal Cacch. 

This custom of bestowing names descriptive of 
some qualities in the individuals, was all along crossed 
by another that must have existed from the earliest 
ages, namely, the perpetuation of hereditary personal 
names. It is a natural desire of parents to call their 
child after one of themselves, or after some distin- 
guished ancestor ; and such names were given with- 
out any reference to personal peculiarities. Moreover, 
a feeling of reverence for the memory of the parent 
or ancestor whose name was adopted, would be a 
powerful motive — just as it is in our own day — to 
resist a change of name in after-life. This manner 
of designation became more and more general, till it 
ultimately quite superseded the other ; and now, even 
if the names were understood, no one would ever 
think of finding in the name a description of the 

It appears from our historians that hereditary 
family names became general in Ireland about the 
period when Brian Boru reigned, viz. in the end of 
the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century ; 
and some authorities assert that this custom was 
adopted in obedience to an ordinance issued by that 
monarch. The manner in which these names were 
formed was very simple. The members of a family — 
each in addition to his own proper name — took as a 
common designation the name of their father, of their 
grandfather, or of some more remote ancestor ; in 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 131 

the first case prefixing the word mac, whicli means a 
son, and in the two other cases «« or o, which signi- 
fies grandson ; and in all cases the genitive of the 
progenitor's name followed the mac or the o. Thus 
the following were the names of seven successive 
kings of the Hy Neill race from a. d. 763 to 956, 
and each was the son as well as the successor of the 
next preceding : — Niall Frassach (of the showers), 
Hugh Oirne, Niall Cailue, Hugh Finnliath (fair- 
grey), Niall Grlundubh (black-knee), Murkertagh of 
the leather cloaks, and Domnall O'Neill. This last 
king was the first that adopted the surname of Ua 
Neill (Niall's grandson) which he took from his 
grandfather, Niall Grlundubh ; and from that time 
forward every man of his race bore the surname of 

Great numbers of places all through the country 
have received their names from individuals or from 
families, who were formerly connected with them, 
either by possession or residence or some other accident. 
In the formation of such names certain phonetic laws 
were observed, which I will now proceed to explain 
and illustrate. It must be remarked however, that 
while these laws are rigidly observed in the Irish 
language, it often happens that in the process of 
anglicising, either they are disregarded, or the efi'ect 
of them altogether disappears. 

I. When a local name is formed by the union of a 
noun of any kind with a personal name, the latter 
follows the former, and is in the genitive case. 
Seanach [Shannagh], which signifies wise or prudent, 

* See O'Donovan's admirable essay on "Ancient names of 
Tribes and 'I'erritories in Ireland," in the Introduction to 
O'Dugau's Topographical Poem. 

K 2 

132 l)'ish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

was formerly very common as a man's name, and 
it continues in use in the family name O'Sha- 
nahan. Its genitive is Seaiiaig/i, which is pro- 
nounced Shannij in every part of Ireland except south 
Munster, where they sound it Shannig. Some saint 
of this name is commemorated at Kilshannig near 
Rathcormack in Cork, the Irish name of which is Cill- 
Seanaujh, Seanacl/'s church. Kilshanny near Mit- 
chelstown in the same county, is the same name, and 
exhibits the more usual sound of the genitive. The 
small island of Inishmurray in the bay of Sligo, is 
called in the annals Inin-Muireadhaiyh, and it received 
its name from Muircadhach, the first bishop of Killala, 
who flourished in the seventh century. 

lomhar or Eimher [Eever] is a man's name which 
was formerly very common, and which still survives 
as a family name in the forms of Ivor, Ivors, Evers, 
and even Howard. The village of Ballivor in Meath 
exhibits this name very nearly as it ought to be pro- 
nounced, the Irish being BaUe-Iomhair, Iver's town. 
There was a celebrated chief of the O'Donovans 
named lomhar who lived in the thirteenth century, 
and from whom a considerable sept of the O'Dono- 
vans were descended. He built a castle called from 
him Caislean-Iomhair, which long remained in pos- 
session of the family ; it is now called Castle Eyre, and 
its ruins still remain near the little village of Union- 
hall in the parish of Myross, at the mouth of Grlan- 
dore harbour in Cork. He was a great trader ; and 
the legends of the peasantry still relate that he lives 
enchanted in a lake near the castle — Lough Cluhir — 
and that once in every seven years his ship is seen 
with colours flying, sailing over the surface of the 
water (see O'Donovan's Four M. VI., 2439). Miii- 
reagdn, genitive Muireagdin, is a very old Irish per- 

CHAP. viiT.] Irish Personal and Family Karnes. 133 

sonal name, signifying a mariner, from imiir, the 
sea; and it is still used in tlie form of Morgan. There 
is a place near Abbeyleis in Queen's County, called 
Cremorgan, the Irish name of which is Crioch-Mui- 
reagdin, Muregan's district. In the three last names 
the modification in sound and spelling of the genitive 
disappears in the anglicised forms. 

II. The initial letter of a personal name in the 
genitive case, following a noun, is usually aspirated, 
if it be one of the aspirable letters, '.l^his occurs in 
the Irish language, but in the anglicised forms the 
aspirated letters are often restored. Muirn or Miiirni 
(signifying love or affection), was a woman's name, 
formerly in use in Ireland; Finn Mac CamhaiU's mo- 
ther, for instance, was called 3Iurni Muncaim (of 
the beautiful neck). There is a village and parish 
west of Macroom in Cork, called Ballyvourney, 
where some woman of this name seems to be comme- 
morated; for the Four Masters, in recording it as one 
of the camping places of O'Sullivan Bear in his 
retreat from Dunboy in 1602, call it Baile-Mhuirne, 
Murna's townland. The aspirated m is restored in 
Carrigmoorna {Murnah rock) in the parish of Kil- 
rossanty in Waterford. In this townland there is a 
conical stony hill, having a large rock on the summit, 
with an old lis near it ; and within this rock dwells 
the enchantress Murna. When the wind blows 
strongly in certain directions, a loud whistling sound 
comes from some crevices in the rock, which can be 
heard distinctly half a mile off ; and the peasantry who 
know nothing of such learned explanations, and care 
less, will tell you, among many other dim legends of 
the lady Murna, that this sound is the humming of 
her spinning wheel. 

III. The genitive of iia or o (a grandson) is ui, 

134 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

which is pronounced the same as ce or ij in English ; 
and consequently when a local name consists of a 
noun followed by a family name with o (such as 
O'Brien) in the genitive singular, the iii is usually 
(but not always) represented in anglicised names by 
y. This is very plainly seen in Cloonykelly near 
Athleague in Roscommon, Cluain-Ui-CheaUaigh, 
O'Kelly's meadow ; in Drumyarkin in Fermanagh 
(near Clones), O'llarkin's drum or hill-ridge. Cloony- 
brien, near Boyle in Roscommon, where a portion 
of the Annals of Loughkey was copied, is called in 
Irish Cluain-I-BJiraoin, O'Breen's meadow. Knoeky- 
cosker, north of Kilbeggan in Westmeath, is written 
by the Four Masters Ciwc-Ui-ChoscraigJi, O'Cosgry's 
hill. The barony of Iraghticonor in the north of 
Kerry, is called in Irish Oireacht-Ui-Chondiobiiair, 
O'Conor's iracjlit or inheritance. 

In the parish of Moycullen in Oral way there is a 
townland, now called Grortyloughlin ; but as we find 
it written (aurtyloughnane in on old county map, it 
is obvious that here n has been changed to / — a very 
usual phonetic corruption (1st Ser. Part I., c, iii.), 
and that the Irish name is Gort-Ui-Lachfuain, the 
field of O'Lachtnan or O'Loughnane — a well known 
family name. This townland includes the demesne 
and house of Danesfield, the name of which is an 
attempted translation of the incorrect name (jorty- 
loughlin, the translators thinking that the latter part 
was identical with Lochlanuach, one of the Irish 
terms for a Dane. But tlie Danes had nothing to 
do with the name, for neither Gortyloughnane nor 
Gortyloughlin, could bear the interpretation of 
Danesfield, which is one of the many instances of 
false translations in our local nomenclature. The 
family name 0' Lachtnain is commemorated in Bally- 

CHAP. viii.J L'isJb Personal and Family Names. 135 

loughnane, tlie name of two townlands, one in the 
north of Tipperary (near Birr), and the other near 
Crooni in Limerick — O'Loughnane's town. With 
govt for the initial term we have Gortyclery near 
Mohill in Leitrim, Grortyleahy near Macroom in 
Cork, and Gortymadden in the parish of Abheygor- 
macan in Gralway, O'Clery's, O'Leahy's, and O'Mad- 
den's field respectively. 

This // sound of ui is often altogether sunk in the 
y of Bally and derry, when a family name follows 
these words. The parish of Ballyboggan in Meath 
takes its name from a celebrated abbey whose ruins 
are still to be seen on the Boyne, and which is called 
in the annals Baile-Ui-Bhoga in, (the abbey of) O'Bog- 
an's town. There are several places in different 
counties called Ballykealy ; the Four Masters give 
the correct form of the name when they mention 
Ballykealy in Kerry, which they call Baile- Ui-Chael- 
uighe, O'Keely's town. Half way between Athenry 
and Oranmore, just by the railway at the south side, 
there is an old castle ruin called Derrydonnell, the 
Irish name of which is given in the same authority, 
Doire- Ui-Dhomhnaill, O'Donnell's oak wood. 

IV. When a local name consists of a word fol- 
lowed by a family name with 0, in the genitive 
plural (i. e. having such an interpretation as " the 
rock of the O'Donnells"), in this case, whilst the 
retains its own form unchanged, the first letter 
of the following word is eclipsed (if it admit of 
eclipse) exactly the same as if the were the article 
in the genitive plural. As this is a very important law, 
and influences great numbers of names, and as be- 
sides it is very generally followed in the anglicised 
forms, I will illustrate it by several instances. 

Many examples of this usage might be quoted from 

136 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

the annalists. The Four Masters record at 1559, 
that Calvagh O'Donnell was taken prisoner in the 
monastery of CiU-O-clTomhrair, the church of the 
O'Tomhrairs. The ruins of this monastery are 
situated near the shore of Lough Swilly, two miles 
from the village of Eathmelton in Donegal. The 
name ought to be pronounced Killodorrir, but the 
Irish speaking people change the last r to I (1st Ser., 
Part I., c. III.), and pronounce it Killodorril ; and 
those who anglicised the name from this corrupted it 
further by changing the rr to nn, so that the old 
church is now always called Killodonnell, as if it 
took its name from the O'Donnells. The family of 
O'Tomhrair, who now call themselves Toner, took 
their name from an ancestor, Tonihrar, whose name was 
borrowed from the Danish Tomrar, or Tomar. 

Torney is now a pretty common family name, the 
correct form of which isO'Torna. According toO'Ourry 
(Lect., XL, 59) they derive their name from the 
celebrated poet Torna Eigeas, who flourished in the 
fourth century ; and they inhabited the district of 
O' Torna in the north of Kerry. The name of this 
district is still retained in that of the monastery and 
village of Abbeydorney ; the former, which was 
founded in 1154, is called in Irish by the Four 
Masters, Mainistir-0-dTorna [Mannister-Odorna], the 
abbey of the O'Tornas. The word " abbey" is 
omitted in the name of the parish, which is now 
called O'Dorney. Another name exactly similar to 
this last is Ogonnelloe, which is that of a parish in 
Clare; here the word tunth is understood: — Taath- 
O-gCoiiiffialla, the, district of the O'Conneelys. Near 
Croom in Limerick is a townland called Tullovin, 
which exactly represents the sound of Tul'-O-hJiFinn, 
the hill of the O'Finns, where the / is eclipsed by the 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 137 

bh or V ; and the same family name is commemorated 
in Graigavine near Fiddown in the south of Kil- 
kenny, Gmig-0-hhFinn, the O'Finns' graigue or 

In the year a. d, 869, Hugh Finnliath, king of 
Ireland, gained a victory over the Danes at a place 
called by the annalists Cill- Ua-iiBoighre [Killoneery] 
the church of the O'Deerys ; which Dr. Todd believes 
to be the place now called Killineer near Drogheda. 
The personal name Doighre [Dira] from which this 
family name has been formed, though formerly in 
use, is now obsolete ; but it is preserved in local nomen- 
clature. Some man of this name is commemorated 
in Duuiry, now a parish in Gralway, where the Mac 
Egans, hereditary brehons to the O'Kellys of Hy- 
Many, long had their residence, and which in their 
writings, and in the Four Masters, is called Dun- 
Doighre {D lost by aspiration), Boighre's fortress. 

There is a parish near the town of Antrim, called 
Donegore, which Colgan calls Dim-0-gCurra, the ^ 
fortress of the O'Curras ; and the old fortress still 
exists, and is called Donegore moat (Reeves : Feci. 
Ant. 64, note d). 

The Four Masters at a. d. 1393 record a conflict 
between two families of the Mac Dermots, fought 
at a place which they call Cluain-O-gCoinnen, the 
meadow of the O'Cunnanes, which is situated near 
Frenchpark in the north of Roscommon, and is now 
called Cloonnagunnane. Near Borrisokane in Tip- 
perary there is a place called Kyleonermody ; here 
the n in the middle represents a d which it eclip- 
ses, the whole name being Coill-0-nT)iarm.ada, the 
wood of the O'Dermody's, a family name still com- 
mon in Limerick and Tipperary. Diarmad as a 
personal name is commemorated in Dundermot 

138 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

(Diarmad's fortress) a townland giving name to a 
parish in Antrim, which itself takes its name from a 
large earthen fort over the Clough Water near where 
it joins the river Main. Killodiernan is an old 
church giving name to a parish in Tipperarj, one 
of the churches that took their names from families, 
where the O'Tiernans were probably erenaghs or 
hereditary wardens of the church, the Irish name 
being Cill-O-dTighearnan. A name exactly corre- 
sponding to this is Killogilleen in Gralway, exhibiting 
the eclipse oichyg: — CUl-0-gCilHn, the church of 
the O'Killeens, or as they now call themselves, Kil- 

Occasionally in constructions of this kind, the 
disappears in the process of anglicising, while the 
effect of the eclipse remains. This is seen in Rath- 
gormuck, the name of a village and parish in Water- 
ford, which they now pronounce in Irish Rath-a-gCor- 
maic, but which, thirty years ago, the old people 
called Rath-0-gCormaic, the fort of the O'Cormacs. 
On this it is to be remarked that in may parts of 
Ireland, the of family names is pronounced A in 
the colloquial language : — Daniel O'Connor for in- 
stance would be made Domhnall-A-Conchuhhair. 

In a few cases both the and the eclipse are 
obliterated, as in Rosbercou, the name of a village in 
the south of Kilkenny, which on account of being 
situated in the ancient territory of Ui Berchoii, is 
called in Irish Ros-Ua-mBercJion, the wood of the 

V. The mac of family names is often written niag, 
even in manuscripts of authority. Among a great 
many examples of this I may mention the family of 
Magroarty, who were keepers of the celebrated reli- 
quary called the caah or cathach, belonging to the 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 139 

family of O'Donnell. The Four Masters mention 
this family twice, and in both cases write the name 
Mag llohhartaigh (son of Rohharlach [Roartagh]); 
and the g holds its place in the modern form, as well 
as in local names derived from the family. An ex- 
ample of this is Ballymagrorty, the name of two 
townlands, one near the town of Ballyshannon, and 
the other near the city of Derry, which Colgan wiites 
Baile-3Ieg-llablKirtaich, Magroarty's townland. The 
Magroartys resided in and gave name to these places, 
and it is probable that they held the lands in virtue 
of their office. 

VI. When mac in the genitive follows a noun, if 
the noun following begin with a vowel, n is inserted 
after mac and before the vowel. This n is merely an 
inflectional termination, and belongs to the ancient 
form of declension, as may be seen by reference to 
Zeuss, Gram. Celt., p. 221. An excellent example of 
this is Kilmacrenan {CUl-Macn-Enain), examined in 
1st Ser. It is seen also in Kilmacnoran, two miles 
east of Bally haise in Cavan, Cill-Macn-Odhrain, the 
church of the sons of Odhran or Oran. There is a 
barony in the east of Gralway called Clonmacnowen, 
or more correctly Clanmacnowen ; the name divides 
itself this way, Clan-macn-owen ; Irish, Clann-niic- 
nEogl/ain (Four M.), the descendants of the son of 
Eoghan or Owen ; and this tribe were descended and 
took their name from Owen, the son of Donall More 
O'Kelly, chief of Hy Many, wlio flourished in the 
early part of the thirteenth century. 

VII. When a local name consists of a noun fol- 
lowed by a family name beginning with 9nac, or by 
any surname following mac, the m of mac is often 
aspirated ; as in Derry vicneill in the parish of Atty- 
mas in Mayo, JJoire-mhic-Neill, the oak-wood of 

140 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

Niall's son ; Ballyvicnacally near Dromore in Down, 
the town of the son of the calliagh or hag. 

YIII, The V of this anglicfsed syllable vie or rick, 
is often omitted both in pronunciation and writing, 
leaving only ick, and sometimes nothing more than 
the mere sound of k. This is a contraction very com- 
mon in Irish family names ; and in a great many 
that begin with h, c, or g, these letters represent the 
last letter of the tnac or i)iag. Keon is shortened from 
Mac Owen ; Cuolahan from Mac Uallachaiw, Oribbin, 
Gribbin, and Grribbon, from Mac Boibin, the son of 
Robin or little Robert. 

The Irish call the Berminghams 3fac Fheorais 
[Mac Orish], i. e. the son of Feoras, or Pieras, or 
Pierce, a name derived from an ancestor, Pierce, 
the son of Meyler Bermingham, who was one of the 
chief heads of the family. Several branches of this 
family have altogether dropped the English name, 
and adopted the Irish ; but it is almost universally 
contracted from Mackorish to the forms Corish, Corns 
and Chorus, all family names common in certain 
parts of Ireland. Some member of this family gave 
name to Bally corns in the county of Dublin, .near 
Enniskerry, well known for its lead mines, the full 
name of which is Baile-BIIiic-Fheorais, the town of 
Mac Orish or Bermingham. The hereditary name 
Pierce or Feoras, without the mac, is preserved in Mo- 
nasteroris, the name of a ruined monastery near Eden- 
derry in King's County, which was founded by Sir 
John Bermingham for Franciscans in the year 1325, 
and hence called Mainistcr-Feorais (Four M.), the 
monastery of {3Iac) Fcorais. (See Sir William R. 
Wilde's " Boyne and Blackwater"). 

A good example of the custom now under consider- 
ation in its application to local nomenclature, is Bal- 

CHAP, viii.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 141 

lickmoyler, the name of a village in Queen's County, 
which signifies the town of the son of Moyler or 
Myler. 80 also Gorticmeelra in Koscommon, Mac 
Meelra's gort or field ; Killickaweeny near Kilcock 
in Kildare, Coill-mhic-a'-Mhidmhnigh, tlie wood of 
the son of the MuinihncacJi [Mweenagh] or Munster- 
man. Near the hank of the grand canal, two miles 
west of TuUamore in King's County, is an old castle 
called Ballycowan, which gives name to the barony 
in which it is situated. The Four Masters at 1557 
write the name Baile-mhic-Ahhainn, the town of the 
son of AbJiann or Aibhne, a personal name formerly 
in use, and still sometimes met with in the anglicised 
form Evenew. There is a place in King's County 
and another in Kildare, called Cadamstown ; the 
Irish form of this name is preserved by the Four 
Masters, who write the name of Cadamstown in 
King's County, £aile-mic-Adani, the town of Adam's 
son ; and the correct anglicised form Ballymacadam 
is the name of some places in Kerry and Tipperary, 

IX. The c of mac is sometimes dropped. There 
is a parish in Tipperary called Kilmastulla, which 
should have been anglicised Kilmacstulla, for it is 
written in the Down Survey Killm''StuUy, and signi- 
fies Mac Stully's church. In like manner, Ballyma- 
dun, a parish in the north of the county of Dublin, 
is written in an ancient Latin document, quoted by 
Dr. Eeeves (O'Dugan, Notes, V.) Villa Macdun, indi- 
cating that the correct anglicised nameisBallymacdun, 
Macdun's townland. So Ballymascanlan, a parish 
in Louth, ought to have been, and indeed often is, 
called Ballymacscanlan, the town of Scanlau's son. 

I will now proceed to instance a few characteristic 
Irish personal and family names, and to illustrate the 
manner in which local names have been formed from 

142 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

them ; and I will first resume the consideration of 
these names derived from duhh, black, all of which, 
like Duhhan, must have been originally applied to 
persons with dark hair and complexion. 

One of these is, Dubhthach [Uuffa], which has de- 
scended to onr own day in the form of Duffy and O'Duify. 
I do not wish to venture on an explanation of thdcJi, 
the latter part of the word : it may be possibly 
nothing more than a suffix, for it is found in other 
names, such as Carthach, Cobhthach, &c. Diibhthach 
is a name of great antiquity ; and those wlio have 
read the history of St. Patrick's preaching in Ireland, 
will remember king Laeghaireh arch poet Dubhthach, 
whom the saint converted when he jireached before 
the king and his court in Tara in a. d. 433, Some 
individual of this name must have formerly possessed 
Tamnadoey near Moneymore in Derry, which is 
called in Irish Tamhnach-Dubhthaigh, Duhhthach''s 
field ; and we have the name also in Ballyduffy in 
Longford, Mayo, and Roscommon, the townland of 
Dufiy or O'Duffy. 

From the same root we have Dubhalthach, which 
means a dark complexioned lofty person ; though the 
alt would bear other interpretations besides lofty. 
This name is generally anglicised Duald or Dudley, 
but it is now seldom met with in any form. Lissa- 
dulta in the parish of Kilthomas in Gralway, signifies 
Duald's fort — Lios-a^-DiiblHiltaigh. This personal 
name is strangely perverted in Moneygold, the name 
of a place near the village of Grange in Sligo. The 
last syllable, gold, has been extracted from the long 
name DlinbJialtaigh ; but the whole pi'ocess is in 
strict accordance with phonetic laws already explained 
(1st Ser. Part I., c. in.) : — viz., DhnblialfaigJi reduced 
to Dlmald by throwing off the last syllable : repre- 


CHAP, VIII.] Iriah Personal and Familij Names, 143 

senting this phonetically, and substituting g for dli ; 
after this it required small pressure to force Monej^- 
guald to Moneygold, for )nonct/ naturally suggested 
gold, according to the ordinary process of popular 
etymology: — A[uine-I)/ntli/ialfaigh,Du.ald's shrubbery. 

One of the best known names derived from this root 
diibh is DuhJtda ; it is here combined with the ancient 
adjectival termination, de or da ; and signifies black- 
complexioued. What lover of oysters has not heard 
of Poldoody ! It is a large pool at the shore near 
the Red Bank of Burren in the north of Clare ; and 
it produces oysters of excellent quality in great 
abundance. The name, however, has nothing to do 
with oysters, for it is merely PoU-Duhhda, Dooda's 
pool. We know nothing of this Dubhda, but he 
may in all likelihood get the credit of being an epi- 
cure in oysters. A chieftain of this name, who flou- 
rished in the seventh century, and was ninth in 
descent from the monarch Dathi, was the ancestor of 
the family of Ui Duhhda, or O'Dowd. 

DuhliagCin is a diminutive of duhh, and signifies 
literally a little dark man. It is well known as 
a family name in the phonetic form Dugan or 
O'Dugan ; and families of the name are commemo- 
rated in the townlands of Ballydugan in Down and 
Tipperary, whose name signifies O'Dugan's town- 

Personal names derived from colours are very 
numerous in Irish, and it may be instructive to 
enumerate a few of the most important and usual. 
Odhar [oar] is pale, pale-brown, pale-faced ; one of 
the chieftains of the O'Carrolls, who was slain in 1581 
by the O'Conors Faly, was styled William Odhar, or 
William the pale-faced. The term in its simple 
form was in former days used as a personal name. 

144 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap, viii 

From a chieftain of this name, who was seventh in 
descent from Colla Da Chrich, and who lived in the 
sixth century, the Maguires took their name. For 
Uidhir, the genitive of Odhar, is pronounced eer or ■ 
ire ; and Maguire is a tolerably correct representa- 
tive, so far as sound is concerned, of 3Iac Uidhir, 
which signifies literally the son of the pale-faced 
man. Ballymaguire (Maguire's town) near Lusk 
in Dublin, and another townland of the same name 
in Tyrone, were both so called from members of this 

The diminutive Odhran [Oran : little pale-faced 
man] is far more frequent as a personal name than 
Odhar. It was moreover in use at a very early 
period of our history ; St. Patrick's charioteer was 
St. Odhran, who gave name to a place called Desert- 
Oran in Offaly. It is often found forming part of 
local names, of which the following are examples. 
There is a townland called Seeoran in the parish of 
Knockbride in Cavan, which is called by the an- 
nalists Suidhe-Odhram, Oran's seat. Mullaghoran, 
Oran's summit, is the name of a place in the parish of 
Drumlumman, Cavan ; there are some places in Tyrone 
and Cavan called Eahoran (rath, a fort) ; Killoran, 
the name of several townlands in Gralway, Tippe- 
rary, and Sligo, is Oran's church ; Ballyoran, Oran's 
townland ; we have Templeoran in Westmeath, Oran's 
church ; and the name of TempleorumnearFiddown 
in the south of Kilkenny, has been corrupted from 
this, for in the Irish elegy on the Rev. Edmund 
Kavanagh, by the Rev. James Lalor, it is called 
7'eampull- Odhrain . 

The Irish word flann, as a noun, signifies blood ; 
and as an adjective, red or ruddy. From a very ' 
early period it has been used as a personal name, and 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 145 

it must have been originally applied to a ruddy- 
faced man. Flann, or, as he is usually called, Flann 
of the monastery, was a celebrated annalist, poet, and 
professor, who flourished at Monasterboice, and died 
in A. D. 1056. The genitive form is Flainn, which is 
pronounced Flinn or Floin ; and hence the family name 
O'Flinn. In this name the F is sometimes aspi- 
rated, which altogether destroys its sound ; and then 
the name becomes O'Lynn, which is also pretty 
common. But the is now usually omitted from 
both names, reducing them to Flinn and Lynn. 
Flann also forms a family name with mac, and in 
this case the F is always aspirated and omitted; 
thus Mac-Fhlainn has given us the family name 
Macklin, which will remind the reader of the cele- 
brated actor (whose real name, however, was Mac 
Loughlin) ; while other branches of the same family 
call themselves Magloin or M'^Grloin. Many again 
drop the Mac or Mag, the g of which gets attracted 
to the / (see p. 140) ; and this gives rise to the family 
names Glynn and Grienn. 

About three-quarters of a mile west of the town of 
Boyle in Hoscommon, near a small cataract on the 
river, just at the railway bridge, there is an old 
church which is often mentioned in the annals by 
the names Eas-Dachonna and Eas-Mic-nEirc (eas, a 
waterfall), from St. Dachonna, the son of Ere, who 
was the patron of the place. But in later ages 
it has been called Eas-Ui-Fhlainn, O'Flynn's cata- 
ract, from the family of O'Flynn, who were the 
erenaghs or wardens of the church ; and this old 
name is exactly represented in sound by the present 
name of the church, Assylin. Near the village of 
Desertmartin in Derry, there is a small lake called 
Loughinsholin (and sometimes incorrectly Lough 

146 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

Shillin), or in Irish Loch-innse-Ui-Fhlainn, the Lake 
of OTlinn's island. This island was a crannoge (see 
this in 1st Ser.), and was a fortress of such import- 
ance that it gave name, not only to tlie lake, hut to 
the barony of Loughinsholin. From the same 
branch of this family two other places in the same 
neighbourhood took their names, viz., Desertlyn 
(O'Lynn's hermitage), and Monasterlynn, (O'Lynn's 
monastery), but the latter is now always called by 
the seductive name of Money sterling. 

The family name with mac is commemorated in Bal- 
lymaglin in Derry {bally, a townland) ; and in 
Crossmaglen, the name of a village in Ai-magh, the 
full name of which is Cros-meg-Fhlainn, Maglin's 
cross. And we have the personal name exhibited in 
Attyflin near Patrickswell in Limerick, and in Atti- 
fiynn near Dunmore in Galway, both of which are 
called in Irish Ait-tighe-Flaimi, the site {ciit) of 
Mann's house. 

With the diminutive termination gdn, and a vowel 
sound inserted (pp. 31 and 3, suj)ra), the name Flan- 
nag an has been formed — little Flann — a little ruddy- 
faced man ; and from this again comes the family name 
of O'Flanagan, or Flanagan, as they now generally 
call themselves. The F of this name becomes aspi- 
rated and omitted in Ballylanigan, the name of some 
places in Limerick and Tipperary — Baile- Ui-Fhlan- 
nagain, O'Flanagan's town. 

I might give many more examples of personal 
names derived from colours — indeed there is scarcely 
a colour that does not originate a name — but I will 
content myself with the foregoing. I will now in- 
stance a few personal and family names derived in 
various ways, and give examples of local names de- 
rived from them. 

CHAP. VIII.] IrisJi Personal and Family Names. 147 

AedJi [ay : sounded like the ay in s«//], genitive 
Aedha, is interpreted by Cormac Mac Oullenan, Col- 
gan, and other ancient writers, to mean fire. It is 
cognate with Gr. aiflios, " also with Lat. aedcs, Skr. 
edhas, firewood. Hence the Gaulish name Aedui — 
Welsh aidd, warmth" (Stokes in Cor. Gl. : see also 
on the name Aedui — *' Die hei Caius Julius Caesar 
vorkommenden Keltischen Namen in ihrerechtheit 
festgestellt und erlautert," by C. W. Gliick, p. 9). 
In its original application it was probably used in 
the sense of a fiery warrior. This name has been in 
use in Ireland from the most remote antiquity ; and 
as we have seen, it was used among the Gauls in the 
time of Julius Ca3sar. We find it among those early 
colonists, the Tuatha De Dananns ; and it was very 
common among the Milesians who succeeded them. 
It was the name of a great many of our ancient 
kings ; and the Irish ecclesiastics named Aed/i are 
almost innumerable. Those who write in Latin 
use the form A idi(>< ; and in English it is always 
made Hugh, which however is a Teutonic name, 
with an entirely difi'erent signification. 

From it are derived the two family names of 
O'hAedha and Mac Acdha [O'Hay, Mac- Ay], both of 
which have been modified into various modern forms. 
The most correct anglicised form of the first is O'Hea 
or O'Hay, which is still common, but some families 

I call themselves Hay. In Limerick the name is very 
common in the form of Hayes, which in the cities 
is sometimes changed to Haiz, to make it appear, I 
suppose, of foreign origin. The usual modernised 
' form of Mac Aedha is Magee, which is correct, or 
M'^Gee, not so correct, or Mackay, which would be 
correct if it were accented on the last syllable, which 
k it generally is not j and it is made MKay by some. 
Y l2 

148 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. vili. 

It is very common in the form of Mac Hugli, ■which 
again is often still further modernised to Hughes. 

The simple name, variously modified, is found 
in great numbers of local names. It is represented 
by ee (as it is in Magee) in Inishee quoted farther 
on. There is a parish near Killybegs in Donegal 
called Killaghtee, which takes its name from an old 
church, the ruins of which are still to be seen near 
the hamlet of Bruckless. The name signifies the 
church of AecWs leacht or sepulchral monument ; 
and a large stone about six feet high, with a curious 
and very ancient cross inscribed on its face, which 
stands in the graveyard, marks the site of the old 
leachi, where Aedh, who was probably the ori- 
ginal founder of the church, lies buried. Aedh 
has the same form in Rathmacnee, the name 
of a parish near Carnsore Point in Wexford, where 
the ruins of a castle still stand, probably on 
the site of the ancient rath which gave origin to the 
name : — Rath-mac-nAedha, the fort of the sons of 
Aedh (n inserted, p. 139). But it is more usually 
represented by ea, as we see in Caherea, the name of 
some places in Clare — Cathair-Aedha, Hugh's caher 
or circular stone fortress. 

Not unfrequently the name is made Hugh, as in 
Tullyhugh in Armagh and Sligo, Hugh's hill ; Rath- 
hugh in the parish of Ahamlish in Sligo, Hugh's 
fort. The barony of Tirhugh in the extreme south- 
west of Donegal, is called in Irish authorities, Tir- 
Aedha, the territory of Aedh ; and it received that 
name from Aedh or Hugh ( son of Ainmire), the king 
of Ireland who summoned the celebrated convention 
of Drumceat in 573, and who was slain at the great 
battle of Dunbolg in a. d. 598. Before his time this 
territory bore the name of Sereth. 

CHAP. viTi.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 149 

This name Aedh is often so very mucli disguised by 
contraction as to be quite undistinguishable without 
the aid of written authorities. A good example of 
this is the well-known tribe name of Clannaboy or 
Clandeboy, which is a short form of the old name 
Clann- Aedha-hnidhe [Clan-ay-boy] as we find it in 
the annals ; these people were so called from Aedh- 
huidhe (yellow Hugh) or Hugh Boy O'Neill, a chief- 
tain who was slain in the year a. d. 1283, In the 
fourteenth century they possessed an extensive terri- 
tory in the counties of Down and Antrim, and this 
was the ancient Clannaboy ; but the name no longer 
exists except so far as it is preserved in Lord Duffe- 
rin's seat of Clandeboye near Bangor in Down. Lis- 
sofln is a townland in the parish of Tullagh in Clare, 
the Irish name of which is Lios-Aedha-Finn [Lissay- 
fin] the fort of Hugh the fair, derived from Aedh 
Finn, the ancestor of the family of Mao Namara 

The family name with is commemorated in 
Clooneyhea in the parish of Drangan in Tipperary, 
O'Hea's meadow ; also in Ballyhay, the name of a 
parish in Cork, and of a townland in Down near 
Donaghadee (Ballyhayes, Inq. — 1623), as well as 
in Ballyhays in Kildare — all signifying O'Hea's 
town. We have the family name with inac in Bally- 
macue in Tipperary, and Ballymagee near Bangor in 
Down : so also in Kilmakee the name of two places in 
the parishes of Derryaghy and Templepatrick in An- 
trim, the church of Hugh's son. 

The personal name Aedhagdn (little Aedh) is formed 
by adding 4he diminutive gdn with a vowel sound 
before it (pp. 31 and 3) ; and this again gives origin 
to the family name Mac-Aedhagain or Mac Egan, 
now generally Egan, descended and named from 

150 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

Aedhagan, a chieftain who lived in the eleventh cen- 
tury. The Mao Egans were long celebrated for 
learning, and one branch of them, who were heredi- 
tary brehons to the M'Carthy More, resided at Bally- 
Mac-Egan on the Shannon, in the parish of Lorrha 
in Tipperary. There are several other names formed 
from this name Aedh. See p. 29, supra. 

Eoghan [Owen] means, according to Oormac's Grlos- 
sary, well born. This name is now very common in 
Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, in the phonetic form 
Owen ; but it is also often changed to Eugene, which 
is the corresponding Grreek name having the same 
meaning. The family name Mac-Owen is derived 
from it, but it is more often written M'Keon and 
Keon (c attracted : p. 140). It generally has the 
form Owen in local names, as in Dunowen in Cork 
and Gralway, called in the old records Dim-Eoghain, 
Owen's fort ; Ballyowen, a pretty common townland 
name, Owen's town; Kilballyowen in Clare, Limerick, 
and Wicklow, the church of Owen's townland. Derry- 
owen, an old castle in the parish of Kilkeedy in 
Clare, giving name to a townland, is called by the 
Four Masters, Doire-Eoghain, Owen's oak-wood. 

Art is an ancient Celtic word which, according to 
Cormac's Grlossary, has three meanings : — " A stone," 
" Grod," and " noble." As a personal name it was I 
suppose originally meant to convey the idea of hard- 
ness, bravery, and power of endurance in battle. It 
was much used in Ireland, and that from a very early 
time, several of our ancient kings having borne the 
name ; and it was equally common in Wales in the 
form of Arthur — a name which will remind every 
reader of the great Welsh ni3'thical hero, with his 
knights of the round table. As a personal name 
it is still used in Ireland, but is now always made 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Fdmihj Names. 151 

Arthur ; and as a family name it exists in O'hAirt or 
O'Hart, now more generally Hart ; and also in Mac 
Art and Mac Arthur. 

Local names that end in the syllable a)'f, may be 
considered as commemorating persons of this name, 
unless when it is obviously connected with preceding 
letters, as in scari, mart, gart, &c. It is seen in 
Carrigart, Art's or Arthur's rook, a village in D one- 
gal; and in Drumart in Armagh, Art's ridge. Some 
person named Mac Art gave name to the great for- 
tress on the top of Cave Hill near Belfast, well known 
as Mac Art's fort ; and we have Ballymagart in 
Down, and Ballymacart in Waterford, Mac Art's 
town. Artagan is a diminutive of Art, from which 
we have the family name O'Hartigan or Hartigan, 
still to be met with in some of the southern counties. 
Dunlang O'Hartagan was the name of one of the 
Dalcassian heroes slain at the battle of Clontarf. 

Aengus is a name which has been in use in Ireland 
from the earliest period. One of the most celebrated 
of our mythical characters was the great Tuatha De 
Danann enchanter, Aengus an Bhrogha, i. e. Aengus 
of Brugh on the Boyne ; and Aengus was the name 
of one of the three brothers — sons of Ere — who led a 
colony to Scotland in the year 506, and founded 
the Scottish monarchy. From that period it became 
equally common in Scotland ; and in the usual an- 
glicised form, Angus, it will be recognised as the 
name of one of the leading characters in Macbeth. 
In Ireland it is still in use as a personal name, but 
nearly always changed to ^neas. 

The name is compounded of aen, one, and gus, 
strength or valour ; and it is to be interpreted as 
meaning a unity or concentration of strength. One of 
its genitive forms is Aengnsa [Eanusa], which ap- 

152 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

pears in the family names Mac Aenghiisa and O^hA en- 
ghusa, or Magennis and O'Hennessy or Hennessy. 
Some members of the latter family gave name to 
Ballyhennessy in Clare, Cork, and Kerry, the town 
of O'Hennessy. Another genitive form is Aenghuis, 
which is popularly pronounced Eneece ; and this is 
represented in Killyneece near Magherafelt in Derry, 
and in Derryneece in Fermanagh, both signifying 
Aengus's wood ; and with a slight change in the 
sound, in Taghnoose in the parish of Kilkeevin in 
Roscommon, Aengus's house. 

Another name containing the root gus is Fergus, 
which signifies manly strength, from fear, a man ; 
and it is equally ancient with the preceding. It 
assumes various forms in local names. Sometimes 
the name remains unchanged, as in Kilfergus in the 
parish of Loghill in Limerick, Fergus's wood ; more 
often g disappears by aspiration, as we see in Tulfarris 
on the river Liffey near Pollaphuca waterfall, the 
hill (tiilach) of Fergus. Still more frequently the 
word loses the initial / by aspiration, as in Ballyar- 
gus in Inishowen, the town of Fergus ; and often 
both the /and the g drop out, as we see in Attyreesh 
in the parish of Oughaval in Mayo, Ait-tighe-Fhcar- 
ghuis, the site [ait] of Fergus's house. 

Great numbers of Irish personal names were 
taken from the names of animals ; the individuals 
being supposed to possess in an eminent degree the 
characteristic qualities of the animals they were named 
after. Sometimes these names were taken without 
any change, and applied to men or women ; but more 
often they had diminutives or other terminations, or 
they were compounded with other words. We have 
in this way borrowed cu, a hound, from which nu- 
merous names are derived ; colum, a dove, whence 

CHAP. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 153 

Columba and Columkille, and tlie diminutive Columdn 
or Colmaii (Latinised Columhanus) from whioh again 
are the present family names Colman and Coleman ; 
laeg, a calf; cuach, a cuckoo ; os, a fawn ; fael, a wolf, 
whence Facldn (little wolf), and the family name 
O'Faeldin, now Phelan and Whelan ; sionnach, a fox ; 
broc, a badger, and the diminutive brocdn, whence 
the family name O'Brogan or Brogan ; ^n, a bird ; 
and a host of others 

Ciian, probably a diminutive of cic, is very usual as 
a man's name; there were several saints named Cuan, 
from whose churches the townlands and parishes now 
called Kilquane and Kilquain were so named. The 
genitive of cu is con, which is the form usually found 
in family and local names. Cu forms the beginning 
of a great many names ; such as Cu-marai hound of 
the sea, given first I suppose to a skilful sailor or a 
bold leader of maritime expeditions. From a chief- 
tain of this name, who died in 1014, and who was 
23rd in descent from OlioU Olum, king of Munster, 
descend the family of Mao Conmara now Macna- 
mara. There is a parish in Mayo near the village of 
Swineford, called Kilconduff, taking its name from 
an old church which the Four Masters call Cill- 
Chonduibh, the church of Cuduff (black hound), a 
person of whom I know nothing more. 

Cumhaighe [Cooey] is another personal name, 
which was formerly pretty common : — lyiagh, a plain — 
hound of the 'plain. This name is often anglicised 
Quintin. In the parish of Ardquin in the Ards in 
Down, there is a lake called Lough Cowey : near 
the shore of Tara bay in the same neighbourhood, is 
an old disused cemetery called Templecowey ; and 
there are also Uuintin castle, Quintin bay, and 
Ballyquintin townland, which gives name to the 


154 Irish Personal and Family Names, [chap. viii. 

extreme southern point of the Ards. All these, ac- 
cording to local tradition, received their names from 
a saint Cmnhaighe or Quintin, of whom however we 
known nothing further. (Reeves : Ecc. Ant., p. 25). 

In the townland of Ballykinlettragh, parish of 
Kilflan, Mayo, two miles south of the village of 
Balljcastle, there was in old times a fort called Lios- 
letreach, the fort of the letter or wet hill-side. This 
fort was the residence of a family of the Hy Fiach- 
vacli called Mac Conletrcach., who were descended and 
named from Cu-Ietrcach (i. e. Cu of Lios-letreach), a 
chieftain who was fifth in descent from Awley, brother 
of Dathi, king of Ireland, and who must therefore have 
lived about the middle of the sixth century. The 
townland of Ballykinlettragh took its name from the 
family. Besides these, we have Ballyconboy in 'Rob- 
coinm.on,Baile-77ihic-Chonbuidhe (see p. 140), i. e. the 
townland of Mac Oonboy, a family named from an 
ancestor, Cuhuidhe, yellow hound ; and many others 
might be enumerated. 

Bran is a raven, and it was formerly a favorite name 
for men. Few personal names can show a long 
history than this. It was common in Ireland from tlie 
earliest times ; and it was also used among the Grauls, 
for I look upon it as very likely that it is identi- 
cal with Brennus, the name of the great Celtic leader 
who sacked Rome in the fourth century before Christ. 

Among many who bore the name in Ireland, the 
most celebrated was Brandabh (black raven), king of 
Leinster, who defeated and slew Hugh Oirnidhe, king 
of Ireland, at the battle of Dunbolg, in the year a. n. 
598. He had his residence at Rathbran, Bran's fort, 
near Baltinglass in Wicklow. Another Branduhh gave 
name to Rathfran (i^ aspirated to/), two miles from 
Killala in Mayo, well known for its abbey, which Mac 

CHA-P. VIII.] Irish Personal and Family Names. 155 

Firbis writes Rath-Branduihh. There is a sandbank 
ford across the mouth of the river, justunder the abbey, 
which is now called the Farset of Rathfran (see Farset 
in 1st Ser.) ; but it was anciently called Fearmd-Tresi; 
and according to a story in the Diunsmnchus, it was so 
named from Tresi, the wife of Awley, brother of king 
Dathi, who was drowned in it. (Hy F. 22-4). There 
is also a Eathbran in Meath ; and we have Dunbrin 
(Bran's fortress) in Queen's County, near Athy. 

From Bran, son of Maelmordha (king of Leinster, 
slain in the battle of Clontarf), are descended the 
family of O'Brain, who now generally call themselves 
O'Byrne, or more generally Byrne, sometimes more 
correctly O'Brin, and occasionally Burn, Byrnes, 
Burns, Brin, and sometimes even Byron. 

From ech, a horse (Lat. equus), comes Echegdn, a 
man's name meaning literally little horse. From an 
ancestor of this name descended the family of Mac 
Echegain or Mageoghegan, now more generally Greo- 
ghegan and Grahagan [cj attracted: see p. 140). 
Fochaidh [Ohy], signifies a horseman ; and from this 
again is formed the family name Mac Eochadha 
[Mac-oha] or Mac Keogh, now usually contracted to 
Keogh or Kehoe ; but in some places it is made 
M'Goey. Fochaidh was formerly exceedingly com- 
mon as a personal name. From a chieftain named 
Fochaidh Cohha, who flourished in the third cen- 
tury, a tribe descended called Uibh-Eachach [Iva- 
hagh], Eochaidh's descendants, who possessed a large 
territory in Ulster, now represented in name by the 
barony of Iveagh in Down. There was another 
territory of the same name in the south-west of the 
county Cork, which was so called from a tribe de- 
scended from Fochaidh, seventh in descent from Olioll 
Olum, king of Munster in the second century. 

156 Nicknames. [chap. tx. 



No people in the world are, I believe, so given to 
nicknames as the Irish, unless perhaps the Scotch. 
Among the rural population in many parts of the 
country, almost every third man is known by some 
name besides his ordinary surname and Christian 
name. Sometimes these epithets are hereditary, and 
commemorate some family peculiarity or tradition ; 
but more often they describe a personal characteristic 
of the individual. Sometimes they carry reproach, 
and are not used except to insult ; but very often 
they are quite inoffensive, and are accepted as a 
matter of course and with perfect good humour. 

In early life I knew a village where more than 
half the people were familiarly known by nicknames, 
which were always used, the proper names being 
hardly ever mentioned. One man, on account of his 
powers of endurance in faction fights, was called 
Gadderagh, which literally means a tough fellow like 
a gad or withe (affix rack, p. 7) ; another was never 
called by any name but Cloosdarrog, red-ears (which 
indeed is a historical nickname, for we find it stated 
in O'Clery's Calendar, that St. Greallan, who is com- 
memorated in it, was the grandson of a man named 
Cairbve-cluais-derg) ; a third was Phil-a-gaddy, or 
Phil the (son of the) thief; a fourth Shaun-na- 
hointree, John (the son) of the widow ; and one man, 
who was a notorious schemer, was universally called, 
by way of derision, or '^ per antiphrasim," Thomatis- 
a'-sagart, Tom the priest. So generally had some 

CHAP. IX.] Nicknames. 157 

of these been accepted, and so completely had they 
superseded the proper names, that to this day I 
remember those people well by their nicknames, 
though in many cases I have no idea — and never 
had — of what the real names were. 

On this subject Sir Henry Piers wrote as follows 
in the year 1682, in his description of the county 
Westmeath : — " They take much liberty, and seem 
to do it with delight, in giving of nicknames ; if 
a man have any imperfection or evil habit he is sure 
to hear of it in the nickname. Thus, if he be blind, 
lame, squint-eyed, grey-eyed, be a stammerer in 
speech, left-handed, to be sure he shall have one of 
these added to his name ; so also from the colour of 
his hair, as black, red, yellow, brown, &c. ; and from 
his age, as young, old : or from what he addicts 
himself to, or much delights in, as in draining, 
building, fencing, and the like ; so that no man 
whatever can escape a nickname who lives among 
them, or converseth with them ; and sometimes so 
libidinous are they in this kind of raillery, they will 
give nicknames j'jer antiphrcmm, or contrariety of 
speech. Thus a man of excellent parts, and beloved 
of all men, shall be called grana, that is, naughty or 
fit to be complained of (literally ugly or hateful) ; if 
a man have a beautiful countenance or lovely eyes, 
they will call him him cuiegh, that is, squint-eyed 
(caech : see next page) ; if a great housekeeper he shall 
be called ackerisagh, that is, greedy (ocrasach, hungry 
or greedy)." (Quoted by 'Donovan in O'Dugan: 
p. [19]). 

But all this is obviously only a remnant of what 
was anciently the general custom. For originally, 
as I have already observed, personal names were 
descriptive ; and the people who now designate a 

158 Nicknames. [chap. ix. 

man by a nickname, do exactly as their ancestors 
did thousands of years ago, when they fixed on a 
name by which a person was to be afterwards known. 
The propensity of the Irish and Scotch for nick- 
names may, I think, be explained by the fact, that 
the tradition of personal names being significant and 
descriptive, still remains fresh on the minds of the 
people ; and that many of the names themselves 
retained their significance — that is, they were living, 
intelligible words — as long as the people continued 
to speak the Celtic language. 

Our annals and histories of both Pagan and Chris- 
tian times, afford numerous examples of the preva- 
lence of this custom in remote ages. Some had their 
proper names altogetlier changed to others descriptive 
of some personal peculiarity (see p. 127) ; while 
others retained their original names, but had a 
descriptive epithet appended, like Cuimin Fada, or 
Cuimin, the tall ; Finan Lobhar, or Finan the leper, 
&c. And of nicknames, "7;^;' antiphraswi or contra- 
riety of speech," I will content myself with the men- 
tion of one, viz., Acdh or Hugh O'Neill, a celebrated 
chieftain who died in 1230, and who, on account 
of his incessant activity in opposing the English, 
was nicknamed AedJi-Toinlcasc, a sobriquet which 
would not bear literal translation, but which may be 
rendered in decent English, Hugh lazybody. 

Persons are often commemorated in local names by 
their nicknames. One who was either j3urbliud or 
squint-eyed, or who had altogether lost one eye, was 
usually called coech ; which when it is anglicised is 
commonly represented by the syllable kee. Aghakee 
in the parish of Crosserlough in Cavan, represents 
the Irish Ath-a'-chaeich, the ford of the purblind fel- 
low. Killakee, a well known place at the base of 

CHAP. IX.] Nicknames. 159 

the mountains south of Dublin, derived its name in 
a simiLar way, the Irish word being Coill-cC -chacich^ 
the blind-man's wood. 

The word daU is usually applied to a person alto- 
gether blind ; but it is to be observed that the dis- 
tinction here made between cacch and daU, is not 
always observed. There is a place near the town of 
Roscommon called Ballindall, which is called in Irish 
Baile-an-daill, the town of the blind man. The 
southern pronunciation (dowl) is exhibited in con- 
nexion with an eclipse, in Lisnanowl near Castle- 
maine in Kerry, which exactly represents the sound 
of the Irish Lios-na-ndall, the fort of the blind men. 

If the blind have been commemorated, we have 
also the lame and the halt. A cripple of any kind 
is designated by the word hacacli (from hac, to baulk 
or halt), but the word is generally understood to 
mean a lame man ; and from whatever cause it may 
have arisen, this term is frequently reproduced in 
local names. As cripples very often take up beg- 
ging as a means of livelihood, a bacacli is understood 
in many parts of Ireland to mean a beggar. There is 
a townland near the city of Derry called Termon- 
bacca, the termon or sanctuary of the crijiple. A 
different form of the word is seen in Knockavocka 
near Ferns in Wexford, the cripple's hill [cnoc-a- 
hhacaigh), in which the h is aspirated to v ; and the 
same change is seen, with the addition of the final g 
of the south Munster pronunciation, in Ooolavokig near 
BallyvourneyinCork, the cripple's corner. With the b 
eclipsed by m we have Ballynamockagh near Bal- 
linasloe, Baile-na-mbacach, the townland of the crip- 
ples or beggars. 

There is a townland containing the ruins of a 

160 Nicknames. [chap. iX" 

castle in the parish of Killaha in the north of Kerry, 
called Ballymacaquim ; and whoever the man may have 
been that is commemorated in the name, he himself got 
a nickname on account of some deformity in his father. 
The Four Masters mention the castle at 1577, and 
they call it JBaile-mhic-an-chaim, the town of the son 
of the crooked fellow ; but whether it was a stooped 
back, a crooked leg, or a twisted eye, that earned the 
epithet cain for the father, it is now impossible to tell. 

An amadan is a fool or simpleton ; but the word is 
often applied in derision as a mere nickname, to one 
who is not exactly a downright idiot, but who has 
the character of being a foolish, brainless, or spoony 
fellow ; and this application is very common at the 
present day in most parts of Ireland, even where the 
Irish language has been long disused. Fellows 
of this kind are often commemorated in local names ; 
and the forms the word assumes will be seen in 
Ardamadane (accented on am) near Blarney in 
Cork, the fool's height ; in Tiromedan near Ballybay 
in Monaghan, the land of the fool ; in Trinamadan 
near the village of Gortin in Tyrone {trian, a third 
part or division of land) ; and in Knockanamadane, 
near Sneem in Kerry, the amadan^s hill, 

A hodach is a clown, a surly, churlish, uncivil fel- 
low ; and this opprobrious term is still constantly 
heard in various parts of the country. Some such 
ill-conditioned person must have lived at, or owned, 
Knockawuddy near the village of Clarinbridge in 
Galway, and the same may be said of Knockavuddig 
in the parish of Clonmult in Cork, both anglicised 
fi'om Cnoc-a^ -hhodaigh, the hill of the clown or churl. 
Monavoddagh in the parish of Ballynaslaney in Wex- 
ford, signifies the clown's bog. Clownstown, the 
name of a place near Mullingar in Westmeath, is 

CHAP. IX.] Nicknames. 101 

merely a translation of Ballyuamuddagh {Baile-na- 
inhodach, the town of the clowns), which is itself a 
very common townland name. The b in this word 
(which occurs very often in local names) is seldom 
preserved intact ; it is almost always asjoirated, as in 
the first two names just quoted ; or eclipsed, as in Rath- 
namuddagh near tho western shore of Lough Ennell 
m'W QSiriiQoJih, Rath-na-inl)odach,ih.e fort of the churls. 

The word cubog is very much used in different parts 
of Ireland, even where Irish has disappeared, to 
denote a clownish, boorish, ill-mannered fellow ; and 
the Four Masters have preserved one old name con- 
taining this word, viz., Ard-na-gcabog, the clowns' 
height, which is still applied to a hill at the mouth of 
the Fergus in Clare, a little south of the village of Clare. 

Other ways of designating individuals by nick- 
names will be seen in Meenirroy in the parish of 
Conwal in Donegal, which is Min-an-fhir-niaidh, the 
mountain-meadow of the red-haired man ; a name 
exactly like Fallinerlea near Cushendun in Antrim, 
the fall, i. e. the hedge or enclosure, of the grey man 
[Hath, ^T^&y) ; also in Clooncrim near the village of 
Ballinlough in Westmeath, the meadow of the bent 
or stooped man (crom). 

In their passion for nicknames the people did not 
stop at human beings ; for we find that they also 
vented it on inanimate objects, and townlands even 
still retain in theii' names traces of this strange cus- 
tom. Spdg [spawg] is a ridiculous name for a club 
foot, or a long ugly foot ; and the word is applied in 
the anglicised form Spaug, to a townland near En- 
nistymon in Clare, to express probably some queer 
elongation of shape. It must have been in some 
derisive or ridiculous sense that the name of Coogy- 
ulla, i. e. Cuige-Uladh, " the province of Ulster," was 


162 Nicknames. [chap. ix. 

given to a townland near Lisdoonvarna in Clare ; 
but why exactly the place was so called I have not 
the least idea. It is curious that there is another 
towuland of this same name about three miles south- 
east of Templemore in Tipperary, only slightly varied 
to the form OooguUa. Lyneen, " little Leiuster," is 
the name of a place in the parish of Moydow in 
Longford {Laighcn — pron. Lycn, Leinster) ; but I 
suppose this is merely a fancy name. 

Near the village of Inistioge in Kilkenny there is 
a townland called Ballycocksoost. The tradition of 
the neighbourhood is, that in former days the people 
of this townland were very unskilful threshers com- 
pared with their neighbours ; in consequence of which 
the contemptuous name of Ballycocksoost was given 
to it. But this name will not bear translation into 
plain English, so the reader must be content with 
knowing that sidst is a flail, and that the whole name 
signifies the town of the dirty flail. A nickname of 
the same opprobrious character (containing the same 
root, eac, cognate with Lat. cacu) is Oackanode, ap- 
plied to a townland in the parish of Clondrohid, near 
Macroom in Cork, to intimate the extreme badness 
of the land: — Cac-an-fhoid, the dirty part of the/of/<?, 
sod, or soil ; and we have Cockow in the parish of 
Knockane in Kerry, dirty river. 

There is a little street in the Liberties of Dublin 
called Mullinahack. The first part of this name 
{)nulkn) y^WWiQ recognised as the Lish word for a 
mill ; and Mr. Grilbert (Hist. Dub. I., 351), has traced 
the existence of a mill there as early as the close of 
the twelfth century, i. e. before the city had extended 
quite so far. It is probable that in the good old 
times when the present name was invented, the mill 
had fallen into ruin; and I will merely give the Irish 

CHAP. X.] English Personal and Family Names. 163 

name — JLdknn-a'-chaca — leaving the reader to trans- 
late it for himself, and to conjecture why such a name 
should be given to an old mill. 



After the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1172, English 
settlers began to arrive and make their home in Ire- 
land. They were for a long time almost confined to 
what was called the Pale, a small portion of the 
eastern coast, but gradually they ventured into va- 
rious other parts of the country ; and after the Planta- 
tions there were few districts of Ireland, where 
families, either English or of English descent, were 
not to be found. A large number of the places 
where they settled changed their old names, and 
took the names of the new proprietors ; and now our 
topographical nomenclature shows a considerable 
mixture of English personal and family names. 

We have also Danish names, but they are so ex- 
tremely few that I do not think it necessary to 
devote a separate chapter to them : I will incorporate 
in the present chapter those I shall have to illus- 

When the Irish speaking people came to use or to 
adopt English or Danish names, they made various 
clianges in them in accordance with the phonetic 
laws of their own language. It would be easy to 
classify these alterations minutely if the subject were 
of any great importance ; but a statement of a few of 
the causes of change will be sufficient here. 


164 English Penonal and Family Names- [chap. x. 

I. The Irish language does not admit to such an 
extent as the Teutonic languages, of the union of 
two or more consonants in pronunciation, without 
the intervention of a vowel sound. Where such 
combinations occurred in an English or Danish name, 
the Irish often omitted some of the consonants ; or 
if they were committed to writing by Irish scribes, 
the letters were inserted, but under aspiration, which 
indicated their partial or total omission in pronunci- 
ation. Thus the Danish name Godfrey, which was 
occasionally adopted into Irish families, is written 
by the Four Masters Gothfraitk, which would indi- 
cate the suppression in pronunciation of the (/ (or of 
th which replaces it in the Irish form) : — Gothfraith^ 
pronounced Gofry. But in actual use by speakers, 
the. /"was also generally aspirated and consequently 
omitted ; and the name is exhibited so curtailed in 
Derrygorry in Monaghan (near the village of Augh- 
nacloy), Gorry's or Godfrey's oak wood ; and in 
Mullatigorry in the parish ofTedavnet, same county, 
the hill-summit {muUa) of Godfrey's house. So also 
Hedmond is generally reduced to the sound Ray- 
man ; as in Kilcreman on the borders of King's 
County and Tipperary, near Roscrea, in which the c 
is a remnant of mac (see p. 140), the name when 
fully written being Coiil-m/iie-Jiemoiiui, the wood of 
the son of Redmond. 

II. There is no sound in Irish like that of the soft 
g in English (g in gem) ; and when this occurs in an 
English name, it is always replaced in Irish by 
slender s, which is equal in sound to English s/i. 
Thus George is always made Slwresha (two syllables) 
in Irish. This rule comes very frequently into ope- 
ration, and I will give several examples. The Irish 
form of Geoffrey illustrates both this principle and 

CHAP. X.] English Personal and Family Names. 165 

the last. The Four Masters write it Sefraigh (Shef- 
fry) ; but in actual use the / is always aspirated and 
omitted, reducing the name to Sherry or Sheara, 

A little to the west of Kinsale in Cork is the bay 
and marine village of Courtmacsherry, the court of 
Mac Sherry or Greoffrey's son. The person who built 
his residence or " court" here, and gave the place its 
name, was an Englishman called Hodnet, who came 
from Shropshire ; but according to Smith (Hist, of 
Cork, II., 3), "The family degenerating into the 
Irish customs, assumed the name of Mac Sherry." 
The original Mac Sherry is still vividly remembered 
in the traditions of the neighbourhood. Other forms 
of this name are seen in liaheensheara near Rath- 
downey in Queen's County, Greoffrey's little fort ; 
and in Magherashaghry in the parish of Currin in 
Monaghan (Maghera, a field or plain), in which the 
/ is replaced by the Irish aspirated c. In many cases 
the genitive is made Shearoon or Sherron ; as in 
Knockshearoon near Borrisoleigh in Tipperary, 
Geoffrey's hill ; Ballymacsherron in Erris in Mayo, 
the town of Q-eoffrey's son. 

John is generally made 8haun or SJiane in collo- 
quial Irish ; as in Q-lenshane near Dungiven, John's 
glen ; Ballymacshaneboy in Limerick, between Ard- 
patrick and Charleville, the town of the son of yellow 
John. In Ballyshonock, a name found in several 
counties, the last sjdlable, ocl\ represents the Irish 
6g, young or little (see p. 28) ; and the whole name 
means young John's town. Jordan is usually changed 
to Shurdane, as in Ballyshurdane near Kildorrery in 
Cork, Jordan's town ; but in the anglicised forms the 
y is sometimes restored, which is seen in Cloghjordan, 
the name of a village in Tipperary, Jordan's stone 
castle ; and in Clonjordan in "Wexford, Jordan's mea- 

166 English Personal and Family Names, [chap. x. 

dow. The name Jennings is in Irisli Mac Shoneen; 
and hence we have Ballymacshoneen, and withont the 
mac, Balljshoneen, which are the names of several 
places, sigDifyiDg Jennings's town. 

III. The Irish does not possess the English sonnd 
of c// soft (as in cJiaJf') ; and when this sound occurred in 
an English name, it was represented by t followed by 
slender s in Irish, which is equal to tsh in English ; 
thus Castletownroche in Cork is called in the Book 
of Fermoy Baile-CaisIeain-an-Roitsigh, the town of 
Roche's castle, of which the present name is a trans- 
lation ; and it was so called because it was the chief 
residence of the Eoehe family, where they kept a 
great house of hospitality in which scholars, poets, 
ollaves, shanaghies, &c., were received and treated 
like princes. 

This ts is a very correct representation of the Eng- 
lish ch ; but in the spoken language it was almost 
always changed by metathesis to sf or shf, as we see 
in Clogharoasty near Loughrea in Galway, Roche's 
stone castle ; and in Bally risteen near Bunmahon in 
Waterford, and Ballyrishteen near Dingle in Kerry, 
the town of Eishteen or little Richard. 

lY. If an English name presented a combination 
of sounds not usual in the Irish language, the Irish 
speakers sometimes got over the difficulty by omit- 
ting altogether a portion of the name. Of this the 
name David affords a good illustration, for it is uni- 
versally pronounced Dan. Ballydaw, the name of 
some places in Cork, Kilkenny, and Wexford, signi- 
fies the town of David ; but this name is still more 
common in the restored form Ballydavid ; and we 
find it near Hollywood in Down as Bally davy. Some 
of these may, Jiowevcr, be derived from the old Irish 
name Dathi ; as in case of Ballydavis near Mary- 

CHAP. X.] English Personal and Family Names. 167 

borough in Queen's County, wliicli the Four Masters 
write Bailc-DaitJii. William is always made Lceam ; 
and even this is generally further contracted in local 
names, as in Derrylemoge near Mountmellick in 
Queen's County, the oak wood of young William. 
Isabel is pronounced in Irish SJnhbeal ; and this in 
an anglicised form gives name to Sybil Head north- 
west of Dingle in Kerry. 

The lady who gave name to this place was Isabel 
Ferriter, about whom the peasantry in the neigh- 
bourhood of Dingle still tell many legends. Accord- 
ing to the prevailing tradition, her father was a 
Galway chief named Lynch. He wished her to 
marry an Ulster chieftain ; but she loved the young 
lord of Ferriter's castle ; and on the very day when 
she was to give her hand to the northern suitor, she 
secretly married Ferriter, and fled with him to his 
stronghold in Kerry. A deadly feud followed ; the 
castle was besieged by the united forces of the old 
chief and the disappointed suitor ; and dreading 
that his bride might fall into the hands of his rival 
if the castle were taken, Ferriter hid her on the 
evening before the assault, in a cave opening on the 
sea, just under the head, which communicated with 
the castle by a secret underground passage. 

Early next morning he made an unexpected sally 
from the castle ; the besieging forces, taken by sur- 
prise, were routed, and the Ulster chief slain ; and 
the father and the young lord were reconciled on the 
field of battle. But meantime a fearful storm had 
raged during the night ; and when the husband and 
the father hastened to the cave, they found that the 
sea had swept throvigh it, and no trace of poor Isabel 
was ever discovered from that day to this. 

Y. In Irish the article is occasionally used before 

168 Eaglkh Personal and Family Names, [chap. x. 

a proper name, as in Killeenadeema, tlie name of a 
parish in Gralway, which is locally understood to 
mean the little church (Kil/een) of St. Dimma : 
here the middle a is the article. But this occurs 
very seldom, and so far as I am aware, only in 
the spoken language. This form of expression, how- 
ever, is very usual where English personal names are 
concerned. Many examples of this peculiarity might 
be cited, but the following will be sufficient. Near 
Eathkeale in Limerick there is a place called Clogh- 
anarold, a name which is divided in this way, Clogh- 
an-AroId, literally the stone castle of the Harold, 
i. e. Harold's castle. 

In Ballinrichard near Kinsale in Cork, the n re- 
presents the article, and the name means Richard's 
town ; and in like manner in Ballinunty near Killeu- 
aule in Tipperary, the last part of which represents 
the old Anglo-Norman name Funt, the F being aspi- 
rated and omitted according to grammatical rule : the 
whole name mean's Funt's town. Knockaunabroona 
near the village of Mayo, the little hill of (a man 
named} Brown. 

We know that in local names, Irish words often 
simulate English forms (see 1st Ser., Part I., c. ii.) ; 
and in like manner many of the personal and family 
names that appear in our local nomenclature, though 
they appear to be English, are in reality Irish. Nu- 
merous examples of this might be given, but I will 
content myself with two. There is a townland in the 
parish of Templeshanbo in Wexford, now called 
Bally hamilton. But in the Down Survey it is 
written Ballyhumblety, and the old pronunciation. 
Bally homulty, is still remembered by the people ; 
which plainly indicates Bailc-Ui-Thomnltaigh, the 
town of O'Tomulty, a family name still in use in 
some parts of Ireland. 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 169 

Whoever has been in the neighbourhood of Kells 
in Meath, must have remarked the beautiful fer- 
tile hill of Lloyd, a mile from the town, with 
a tall pillar crowning its summit ; from which also 
the townland in which it is situated is called the 
Commons of Lloyd. It is considered as a matter of 
course to have taken its name from a man or a 
family named Lloyd. But the Irish name Mullach- 
Aiti (Aiti's hill ?) — so the Four Masters write it — is 
in reality veiled under this more modern form. The old 
name is still remembered in the neighbourhood, but 
muUach is generally shortened to mul, as it is in 
many other places, and the t of Aitl is changed to d 
(for t of ancient Irish is usually made d in the 
modern language) ; so that the present "Irish name is 
Mul-Aidi, which is pronounced as nearly as can be 
represented BluUoijda. This name was, according to 
the etymological fancy of those who anglicised it, 
divided in this way — Mul-Loyda — the I sound being 
attracted to the second part like the c of mac (see 
p. 140, supra), and like the c of Lough Corrib (see 
this in 1st Ser.) ; and while mul was correctly inter- 
preted " hill," the whole name was believed to mean 
the Hill of Lloyd. 



In ease of some of the articles mentioned in this 
chapter, it is often hard to say exactly why they 
gave names to places. Sometimes no doubt people 

170 Articles of Mamtfadure. [chap. xt. 

found tliem in the eartli when digging or ploughing 
deeply ; for we know that arrow heads and swords 
are still often found in battle-fields, butter in bogs, 
and various household articles in crannoges and 
raths. Sometimes also when a family who followed 
a particular trade lived in one spot for any consi- 
derable time, the place got a name derived from the 
things made there. And there are other explana- 
tions which will come to the surface as I go along. 
Whenever there is positive information or good 
grounds for an opinion, I will offer an explanation ; 
otherwise I will leave the question open. 

As I have to deal in this book chiefly with names, 
I must remark, that of the innumerable articles con- 
nected with the past social life of the Irish people, I 
notice here those only that have helped to build up 
our local nomenclature. 

Chariots and "Cars. Our literature affords unques- 
tionable evidence that chariots were used in Ireland 
from the most remote ages. In the ancient historical 
tales in the Lehor na h Uidhre and the Book of Lein- 
ster, tlie great chiefs, such as CuclmlUn, ConaJl Cearn- 
ach, Loegaire Buadach, &c., are constantly described 
as going to battle in war-chariots, each driven by an 
ara or charioteer ; and at a much later period, in the 
great battle of Moyrath — a. d. 637 — Duhdiad the 
druid, while viewing the king's army, is struck with 
" the snorting and neighing of their caparisoned, bridle- 
tamed steeds bounding under chariots, supporting 
and commanding the battle around them in every 
direction," (p. 193). We know from the Lives of 
the early Saints, that Patrick, Brigid, Colunikille, 
Declan, &c., journeyed in chariots in their mission- 
ary progress through the country. And as Cuchul- 
lin's charioteer, Locg, is celebrated in the ancient tales, 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamifactiire. 171 

so St. Patrick Lad a cliarioteer, Od/rraii, who is equally 
well-known in ecclesiastical history. 

In the old romances there are several descriptions 
of Cuchullin's chariot, as well as of those belonging 
to other chiefs ; which are so detailed as to afford us 
a very good idea of the construction of the vehicle. 

The chariot of Cuclmllin is described in various 
places as having a frame made of wood ; a high 
wickerwork bod3^, with its sloping sides ornamented 
with tin ; two bright brazen (or brazen coloured) 
spoked wheels ; a silver- white pole, veined with 
bronze ; an arched yoke, sometimes of a rich golden 
colour, sometimes silvery white. The war chariots 
are sometimes described as furnished with sharp 
spikes and scythe blades like those of the old Britons; 
while in times of peace, kings, queens, and chieftains 
of high rank, rode in chariots luxuriously fitted up 
and ornam.ented with gold, silver, and feathers.* 

The Irish word for a chariot is carpaf, which is 
obviously cognate with the Latin carpcnfum, or as 
some think, borrowed from it : the modern Irish 
form is carhad. We may conclude with great pro- 
bability, that some at least of the places whose names 
contain this word — and they are pretty numerous — 
were exercise grounds, where the young warriors 
and charioteers trained their steeds and practised 
driving. This was no doubt the case at Fan-na- 
carhad — the slope of the chariots — a place at Tara, 
mentioned in the Dinnseanchus. Several other names 
containing this word are recorded in old Irish docu- 
ments ; and it is very easy to recognise it in its 
modernised forms. 

* See the article on the Irish chariot, by J. O'Beirne Crowe, 
A.B., Kilk. Arch. Jour., 1871-2, p. 413; see also O'Cuny, 
Lect., 11., 272, 276, 287; and 1. (bullivan's Introd.) cccclxxv. 

172 Articles of Manu/actnrc. [chap. xr. 

The parish of Tullycorbet in Monaghan took the 
first part of its name from a small hill ; the place is 
mentioned in O'Clery's Calendar at the 26th January 
by the name of Tnlach-carhoid, the hillock of the 
chariot. Keating, in the reign of Dermot the son 
of Fergus, mentions a certain place called Bearud- 
tri-carhad, the gap of the three chariots, but the 
name is now obsolete. The Four Masters record 
that in 1567, O'Donnell, prince of Tirconn ell, crossed 
the Fojde, and ravaged a part of the territory of the 
O'Neills, from SUahh-gcarhadnch, or the mountain of 
the chariots, which is the hill now called Mullagh Car- 
badagh in the parish of Upper Bodoney in Tyrone, 
ten miles nearlj^ east of Strabane. 

There are many other names through the country 
formed from this word. The townland of Duncarbit 
in the parish of Culfeightrin near Fair Head in 
Antrim, took its name from a fort — the fortress of the 
chariots ; and near the village of Malinin Inishowen, 
is a place called Drumcarbit {drum, a ridge). We 
have also Kiln agarbet near the village of Stradone in 
Cavan,and Moneygorbet in the parish of Donaghmoyne 
in Monaghan — the first signifying the wood [coill) 
and the second the bog {)noin)oii\\Q chariots. Near 
the boundary between Tipperary and Kilkenny, two 
miles west of Callan, is a bridge now called Cara- 
bine Bridge ; but this name is a vile corruption, for 
the old Irish name, according to local authority, is 
Droiched-na-gcarhad, the bridge of the chariots ; so 
that its present name should be Chariot Bridge. In 
a neighbouring field were found not long ago, great 
numbers of sword blades ; and this fact coupled 
with the name, would seem to point out a battle 

The Irish word carr is the same as the English 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamifachire. 173 

cn}\ but is not "borrowed from it, for it is found in 
Irish manuscripts nearly a thousand years old : — for 
example in Cormac's Glossary. Both are probably 
cognate with, not borrowed from, the Latin carriis. 
In Irish it was applied to vehicles either with or 
without wheels. It is curious that this word often 
enters into the names of fords ; originating such 
names as Athnagar, Anuagar, and Aghnagar ; all 
from the Irish Afh-na-r/carr, the ford of the cars. 
The probable explanation of each of these names is, 
that while there were several fords on the stream, all 
used by foot passengers, only one was level and 
smooth enough to be crossed by cars ; which there- 
fore got the name of the car-ford. Other features 
besides fords have been named from cars. Drum- 
nagar is a townland near the village of Stradone in 
Cavan (drum, a hill-ridge) ; Lisnagar Demesne near 
Rathcormack in Cork, the fort of the cars. 

Cars without wheels, or slide cars, were also very 
commonly used both in ancient and modern times. 
They were employed until very lately in many parts 
of Ireland, especially in drawing peat down the steep 
sides of mountains. I remember seeing one in the 
year 1843 laden with dried turf, drawn down by a 
horse from near the summit of one of the Galty 
mountains. The sides of Seefin mountain over 
Glenosheen in the county Limerick, still retain the 
tracks of the old dray-cars — as they were there 
called in English — Avhich the grandfathers of the 
present generation used in bringing home their fuel 
ii'om the hill tops ; and one particular pathway lead- 
ing from the village up the hill, is still called the 

I have already stated that the word carr was ap- 
plied to these as well as to wheeled vehicles ; but they 

174 Articles of Manufacture. [chap, xi, 

had another name specially appropriated to them, 
viz., staed [slade], which I suppose is connected with 
the English word slide. Oarricknaslate — the rock of 
the slide-cars — is the name of a place near Lifford in 
Donegal. There is a townland in Derry, near Cole- 
raine, called Drumslade ; and another in Mayo, near 
the sea side, opposite Aohill Island, called Dratn- 
sleed ; both signifying the ridge of the slide-cars. 

Arrows and Darts. It is curious that bows and 
arrows are very seldom mentioned in our old writ- 
ings ; and the passages that are supposed to refer to 
them are so indistinct, that if we had no other evi- 
dence it might be difficult to prove that the use of 
the bow was known at all to the ancient Irish. How- 
ever, the matter is placed beyond dispute by the fact 
that flint arrow-heads are constantly found in the 
ground, in various parts of the country; and there 
is a large collection — many of them beautifully 
formed — in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy, 
in Dublin. 

Saiget, cognate with and little different from the 
Lat. sagitta, is the usual Irish word for an arrow — 
modern Irish saighead [syed] ; but it is also used for 
a light dart of any kind, whether projected from a 
bow or not. It not uufrequently forms part of names, 
usually in the anglicised forms sytlie n,n.^ seed; it is 
very likely that places with such names were battle 
fields ; and that they were so called because flint 
arrow-heads were found in digging the ground, the 
relics of the flght. 

There is a bridge over the river Fancheon, a mile 
east of Kilbehenny, on the boundary between Lime- 
rick and Tipperary, called Ahnaseed ; and the name 
renders it almost certain that a fight took place at 
some remote time at the crossing of the stream : — 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Maniifacf lire. 175 

Afh-iia-saigif, the ford of tlie arrows. As an instance 
of a ford named from a cii'cumstance like this, I may 
quote an entry of the Four Masters at a. d. 15''32, 
recording the fact that a certain ford was called Bel- 
atha-na-bhfahhcun, the ford-mouth of the falcons or 
cannons, because a battle was fought at it in that 
year, in which the O'Carrolls defeated the earl of 
Ormond, and took a number of cannons from his 

There is a place in the parish of Kilnahue, six 
miles north-west from Gorey in "Wexford, called 
Monaseed, the bog of the arrows ; and a little lake 
two miles from Templemore in Tipperary is called 
Moneennascythe, which has a like meaning. The 
form seed is also seen in Knocknaseed {knock, a hill), 
the name of a place situated near the river Black- 
water in the early part of its course, about four miles 
south of Kingwilliamstown. The word takes the 
other form in Grortnasythe in the parish of Cam in 
Roscommon, and in Coolsythe in the parish of 
Drummaul in Antrim, the field and the corner of tlie 
arrows. There is a place in the parish of Kilreekil 
in Galway, which is called in Irish Gort-na-sciighead ; 
but the present name is Dartfield, which is a correct 

Ga, gae, or gath [gah] is a light spear, a lance, or 
javelin. It occurs in names at least as often as 
saighead ; and here also we may conclude that these 
names generally point out battle fields. Drumgaw 
in the parish of Lisnadill in Armagh, and Glenga in 
Tyrone, signify respectively the ridge and the glen 
of javelins. Slightly different forms appear in Agha- 
gah in Longford, and Aghagaw in Monaghan ; also 
in Clonegah in Carlow, and Clonegath near Monas- 
terevin in Kildare — all signifying the field {ac/utdh 

176 Articles of Mamifavfure. [chap. xi. 

and cluain) of the javelins. There is a name men- 
tioned in HyFiachrach (p. 153) a part of which is very- 
like this, viz., Gkiisi-(juirt-na-Iaiiine, the stream of the 
field of the lances ; but only the first half has sur- 
vived— Glaisi-guirt (the stream of the field), now 
Griasgort, the name of a townland in the parish of 
Ballintober in Mayo. 

Swords. One of the Irish words for a sword is 
claidheamh [cleeve], old Irish eJaidem, obviously cog- 
nate with Lat. gladius ; Fr. and Eng. glaive ; which 
is still well known in the Scotch claymore, i. e. claidh- 
eamh-mor, great sword. Perhaps the townland of 
Gorticleave in the parish of Errigle Truagh in the 
north of the county Monaghaii, was "sword-land," 
or land conquered by the sword ; for this interpreta- 
tion would be borne out by the name, Gort-a^-chlaidh- 
vmh, the field of the sword. Cole or colg [collog] 
signifies a small straight-bladed sword or dirk: it 
forms a part of the name of Duncollog in the parish 
of Drung in Cavan — the fort of the swords, a name 
that seems to point back to the time when the old 
dun was celebrated for its abundance of military 

Axes. The hill of Knockdoe about eight miles 
from Gralway, is historically remarkable for the san- 
guinary battle fought there in 1504, between the 
earl of Kildare and Mac William Burke of Clan- 
ricard. The name of this hill is written by the Irish 
annalists Cnoc-tuadh, which Campion correctly trans- 
lates the hill of the axes. Some think that the place 
received this name on account of the battle ; but the 
manner in which the Irish authorities use the name, 
and other considerations besides, show that it is older 
than 1504, and that it originated in some other way. 

Four miles from Newtownbarry in Wexford, there 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamifacture. 177 

is a place called Clobemon, wliose Irish name is 
Cloch-beiinca)ui , the stone or stone castle of the strokes 
or blows ; which perhaps was the scene of a battle 
fought long ago, or a place where fighting was habi- 
tually carried on, or a military practising ground. 

Shields. The ancient Irish used shields from the 
very dawn of their history, and indeed very probably 
from a period beyond the horizon of both history and 
tradition. In the most ancient historical tales, such 
as "The Cattle spoil of Cooley," "The Briidin 
Da JDerga," " The Siege of Knocklong," &c., the 
shields of the great heroes who took part in the 
several battles are described with sufficient minute- 
ness to enable us to judge pretty accurately of their 
various shapes, sizes, and materials. 

It is highly probable that the most ancient shields 
were made of wicker work, covered over with layers 
of hardened hide. In Ireland we have a living 
illustration of the very general use of such shields 
in former times ; for, the word sciath [skeea], which 
is the most usual word for a shield, is still applied 
in Munster to a shallow oblong ozier basket, used 
generally for carrying, holding, and washing pota- 
toes. From a careful study of ancient authorities, 
O'Curry (from whom I have taken this illustration : 
Lectures, II., 330) shows that the ancient wicker- 
work shields were somewhat of this shape, the con- 
vex side being turned towards the enemy ; and they 
were often large enough to cover the whole person 
of the warrior. 

But there were also flat circular shields made of 
wood — generally yew-wood — which were smaller 
in size than those of wickerwork. Moreover, the 
shields of distinguished warriors had often a rim of 
bronze, and sometimes even of gold or silver, and 


178 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

were ornamented on the outside with various devices 
in colours or metal work. The smaller circular 
shields were occasionally made of bronze, of which 
there is a very beautiful specimen in the Royal Irish 
Academy, which was found in a bog at Lough Grur 
in Limerick. There is also in the Academy an 
ancient wooden shield found at Kiltubbrid in the 
county Lei trim. 

Several ancient authorities show that places took 
their names from shields : thus in the second life of 
St. Carthach of Lismore, we are told that before his 
time, the spot on which Lismore now stands was 
called 3Iagh-sciatk, which the writer translates Cani- 
pus-scnfi, the plain of the shield. In the year 846 
the Danes were defeated by the Irish in a battle 
fought at a place in the county Kildare called in the 
Book of Leinster SciafJi-Wechtai)i, Nechtan's shield. 

In the parish of Eathlynin in Tipperary about 
four miles north-east of Tipperary town, there is a 
townland now called Donaskeagh, which took its 
name from an ancient fort on the summit of a hill, 
the remains of which can still be traced. In this 
fort, Carthach, the ancestor of the family of Mac 
Carthaigh or MacCartliy lived in the 11th century. 
The Four Masters record that the dun was burnt (i. e. 
of course the wooden residences erected within the 
enclosure) by the Ossorians and the men of Ormond 
in the year 1043 ; but Carthach pursued and over- 
took them near the village of Grolden on the Suir, 
defeated them, and recovered the spoil. In this 
record and another, the Four Masters write the 
name Duii-na-sctafh, the fortress of the shields. 
There was another D>in-na-sciath on the shore of 
Lough Ennel in Westmeath, far more celebrated, 
for it was the residence of Malachy, king of Ireland 

CHAP. XI.] Ariicks of Manufacfiwc. 179 

in the time of Brian Boru ; but its name has been 
long since forgotten in the neighbourhood. 

Liskea in the parish of Templetogher in Galway, 
derived its name from an old fort still remaining on 
the top of a hill : Lios-sciath, the fort of the shields: 
and there is a place called Liskeagh in Sligo, a 
name that has the same meaning. We may con- 
clude that these three names were derived from the 
unusual number of warlike accoutrements, especially 
shields, stored up in the fortresses by the kings or 
chiefs who built or owned them. 

There are no doubt many other places deriving 
their names from shields ; but in the absence of 
written authority it is difficult to distinguish sciath, 
a shield, in anglicised names, from sceach, a white- 
thorn bush. 

Bells. We know from the authentic Lives of St. 
Patrick and of other early preachers of Christianity 
in Ireland, tliat they constantly used bells in their 
ministrations ; which were sometimes made of 
bronze, and sometimes of iron. The ancient conse- 
crated bells were generally quadrangular in shape, 
small in size, and ojaen at tlie mouth ; though there 
was also in use a smaller pear-shaped bell, closed up, 
except a small opening in the side for the escape of 
the sound, and rung by an enclosed metallic pellet. 
St. Dageus, who flourished in the early part of the 
sixth century, was a celebrated artificer ; he fabri- 
cated croziers, crosses, shrines, chalices, &c., and 
among the rest, bells, some plain and some orna- 
mented with gold, silver, and precious stones. 

The bells that belonged to the primitive saints 
were regarded by their successors with the most 
intense veneration ; and in order the better to pre- 
serve them, they were often furnished with covers, 


180 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

whicli were sometimes made of gold and silver and 
other metals, elaborately ornamented with interlaced 
work and precious stones. They were often, like 
croziers and other relics, used for swearing on ; and 
it was customary to bring them into the presence of 
parties who were entering into a compact, to render 
it more solemn and binding. 

St. Patrick had a celebrated bell, which plays an 
important part in many of the Patrician narratives, 
both legendary and authentic ; it was called Finn- 
faidhech, or the fair-sounding, and it would appear 
that other saints called their favourite bells by the 
same name, in imitation of their great predecessor. 
Many of these venerable quadrangular bells are now 
preserved in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy 
in Dublin, as well as in other collections ; and among 
them, one in particular is believed, with some reason, 
to be the very bell — the melodious Finn-faidhcch — of 
St. Patrick. 

Clocc or clog is the usual Irish word for a bell ; 
corresponding with the Latin clocca, and English 
clock ; but there were other Irish terms also, which 
it is not necessary to notice here. It is probable 
that the Irish borrowed the word clog from the Latin 
through the early missionaries. We see it in Bally- 
clug, the name of a parish near Ballymena in An- 
trim, which represents the Irish Baile-an-chluig, the 
town of the bell (Reeves: Eccl. Ant. 84), and there 
is another parish in Tyrone called Ballyclog, whicli 
is the same name. This word more usually enters 
into names in the genitive plural, and with the c 
changed to g by eclipse. There is for example a 
bridge over an ancient ford on the Ahaphuca river, 
between Glenroe and Ballylanders in Limerick, 
called Annaglug, i. e. Afh-na-gclog, the ford of the 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 181 

bells ; Dernaglug in Monaghan (doire, an oak grove) ; 
and Ai^dnaglug, the height of the bells, is a little 
hamlet near the railway line, about five miles north- 
east of Ballinasloe. 

In the neighbourhood of many of our ecclesiastical 
ruins the people have a pretty legend about the 
church bells: that in some far distant time, when 
despoilers — Danes or natives — came to plunder the 
monastery, the bells, which some of the legends say 
were of silver, were hastily taken down and thrown 
for safety into the nearest river or lake, where they 
remain to this day. But at intervals— some say 
every seven years — they are heard to ring with a 
faint, muffled, melancholy tone. The silver bell 
that once hung in the round tower of Rattoo in 
Kerry, now lies at the bottom of the river Brick ; its 
voice has often been heard, but the people have 
never been able to find it, though they have often 
searched (Petrie R. Towers, 398). The bells of the 
ancient church of Drumcliff near Ennis in Clare, lie 
beneath the waters of a lakelet in the townland, 
which is called Poulnaglug, the pool of the bells. 

Just near the southern end of the esplanade at 
Bray, a little way up the Head, very near the rail- 
way line, there is a church ruin, which can be seen 
quite plainly from every part of the esplanade ; and 
it is well known in and around Bray, by the name 
of Raheenaclig. The people say that it is the 
oldest church in Ireland ; and the style of masonry, 
especially of the two end windows, shows that it can 
hardly be later than the eleventh century. It has 
long ceased to be used in any way, but within the 
memory of the old people, unbaptized infants were 
buried in it. The name is very plain, and represents 
almost exactly the sound of the correct Irish form, 

182 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

BaitMn-a^-chMg, the little fort of the bell. The 
story told by the name would seem to be this : — 
that in far distant times, before the erection of the 
church, Mass used to be celebrated in an old rath, 
which had remained there from days still more 
ancient — for as I have mentioned elsewhere (IstSer. 
Part II. c. I.) open air Masses were anciently very 
usual in Ireland ; and that a bell was set up in 
the usual way, to call the people ; which originated 
the name. After a time, when a church came to be 
built, it was natural that the old site should be 
chosen, and the old name retained. There are some 
remains of embankments near the church, but I saw 
nothing that could be identified as a portion of a 
rath ; which however is not to be wondered at, as 
the ground has been cultivated up to the very walls 
of the ruin. 

Croziers. One of the most celebrated ecclesiastical 
relics of ancient Ireland was St. Patrick's crozier, 
commonly called the Bachall Isa, the staff or crozier 
of Jesus. A well known legend in the life of St. 
Patrick tells us, that he received this staff from a 
hermit who lived in an island in the Tyrrhene sea, 
to whom it had been intrusted by our Saviour, with 
an injunction to deliver it to Patrick when he should 
arrive at the island. The saint kept it and bore it 
constantly in his hand during his ministration in 
Ireland ; and after his death it was preserved with 
the greatest veneration, and covered with gold and 
precious stones. It was removed from Armagh to 
Christ Church in Dublin in the twelfth century ; but 
in 1538 it was burned in the streets of Dublin with 
many other relics. 

In the Poyal Irish Academy there is a collection 
of ancient croziers, found from time, to time buried 


CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 183 

in the eartli, in bogs, or under the ruins of ecclesi- 
astical buildings. They are generally highly orna- 
mented ; and some of them are elaborately adorned 
with gems and complicated interlaced work in metal, 
which even the best artificers of the present day 
would find it very hard to imitate. 

Bachall is the Irish word for a crozier, probably 
borrowed from the Latin hacuhiH. Some authorities 
would lead us to infer that Ballyboghil near Swords 
in Dublin, derived its name from St. Patrick's cro- 
zier ; which however is doubted by others. The 
name at any rate signifies the town of the crozier ; 
and the probability is that it was derived from a 
crozier belonging to St. Patrick — for he appears to 
have left more than one — whether it be the celebrated 
BacJiaU Isa or not. 

The word hachaJl signifies any staff", such as a shep- 
herd's crook, t^c. ; and one of its diminutives, namely 
hachaiUin [boghaleen] is to this day applied by the 
English speaking people of parts of the south of 
Ireland, to a staff furnished with a flat end piece, 
which they use in washing and mashing up potatoes. 
However, when we find the word in names, we may 
be pretty sure that it is intended for a crozier. There 
is a place called Moyvoughley three miles to the 
north of Moate in Westmeath, which the Four 
Masters write Magh-hhachla, the plain or field of the 
crozier. Pollnamoghill, the name of a townland 
near Aughrim in Eoscommon, exhibits the eclipse of 
the b: — Poll-na-mhachall, the pool of the staffs or 

Brogs or shoes. The ancient Irish shoe was called 
hrocc, modern Irish hrog, which is still well known as 
a living word, and commonly spelled brogue by Eng- 
lish writers of the present day. The most ancient 

184 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

kind of brdg was made of raw or half-tanned hide, 
which was roughly stitched with thongs ; and this 
form continued in use among the lower classes of 
people down to very recent times. Brogs of this kind 
have been found in bogs ; and several may be seen 
in good preservation, thongs and all, in the Eoyal 
Irish Academy. Gradually they came to be more 
elaborate in make, especially those used by the 
wealthier classes; the leather was tanned and orna- 
mented with patterns worked into it ; and of this 
kind some beautiful specimens are also preserved in 
the Royal Irish Academy. 

We may be pretty certain that makers of brogs 
lived at, or perhaps owned, those places whose names 
are formed from the word hrog ; such as Knockna- 
brogue in the parish of Latteragh, Tipperary, which 
is anglicised from Cnoc-na-mhrog. the hill of the 
brogues or shoes ; Raheenabrogue near Ballyroan in 
Queen's County {raheen, a little fort) ; Eskernabrogue 
near Clogher in Tyrone {esker, a sand-ridge) ; Finna- 
brogue near Downpatrick, Fith-na-mhr6g, the wood of 
the brogues ; and Broguestown near the village of 
Kill in Kildare, the name of which is translated from 
the original Ballybrogue, as it is written in an Inqui- 
sition of Charles I. 

This conjecture will not explain the name of the 
little river Brogeen near Kanturk in Cork, which 
means little hrog. Why a river should receive such a 
name I cannot imagine, and the old people of the 
neighbourhood, so far as I have made inquiry, have 
no tradition of the origin of the name worth listening 
to, and are not able to offer any rational explanation. 
It is curious that there is another stream a little 
south of Miltown in Kerry, joining the Laune, called 
Kealbrogeen, the keal or narrow marshy stream of 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 185 

the little brog. Kuockavrogeen (knocks a hill) is the 
name of a place near Dingle in Keny. 

There is a townland in the parish of Inver near 
Killybegs in Donegal, called Luaghnabrogue, i. e. 
Luach na-broif/e, the /uach or price of the brogue ; 
and this name would be almost as puzzling as the 
two river names, if we were not helped out of the 
difficu.lty by a local legend : — the place was purchased 
one time for a pair of brogues. It is to be feared 
however, that the legend was invented to suit the 
name ; and perhaps we may conjecture that in for- 
mer days a shoemaker or broguemaker tenanted 
this townland, and paid his rent in kind, by sup- 
plying his landlord's family with brogues. 

In connexion with this last name, I will step 
aside for a moment to remark that the word luach, 
hire or reward, forms part of other names. Five 
miles north-east from Thurles in Tipperary lies the 
village and parish of Loughmoe, with the fine ruins 
of the castle of the Purcells — the barons of Lough- 
moe — the correct old name of which, according to the 
Four Masters, is Luach-mhagh, price-plain, or the 
field of the reward. The peninsula west of Ardara 
in Donegal is called Loughros, and gives name to 
the two bays of Loughros-more and Loughros-beg 
(great and small) ; this place is also mentioned by 
the Four Masters, who call it Liiachros, the ros or 
peninsula of hire or reward. Why these places were 
so called we know not ; but we may fairly conjec- 
ture that in old times some tenant held them free of 
direct rent, as a reward for some signal service, or on 
condition of fulfilling some special duties. 

Culinary vessels. Several of the vessels in domestic 
use have given names to place. In some cases these 
names are explained by legends ; in others we may 

186 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

conclude that persons lived in the places who either 
made the vessels as a trade, or used them in some 
special occupation ; and lastly, perhaps some have 
been named from ancient vessels found buried in the 
earth or in bogs. 

Lestar. The word lestar denotes a vessel of any- 
kind, or of any shape or material, Hester, vas, Z. 166) 
though the term was generally applied to vessels made 
of wood. This word is found in the names of some 
places in Monaghan and Tyrone, called Drumlester — 
the ridge of the vessels ; and in Derrinlester and 
Derrynalester in Cavan, the first the oak wood of the 
vessel, the second, of the vessels. 

Mether. The mether, Irish meaclar, was a drink- 
ing vessel commonly made of yew wood, quadrangu- 
lar at top, and either round at bottom, or having the 
corners rounded off; and commonly furnished with 
two or four handles, for the convenience of passing it 
from hand to hand round the table. It was called 
meadar because it was used for drinking mead, i. e. 
ale or metheglin. Several ancient vessels of this 
kind are to be seen in the museum of the Royal Irish 
Academy (see Sir William R. Wilde's Catalogue, p. 
214). A mether maker probably lived at Drumna- 
mether near Markethill in Armagh, the ridge of the 
methers ; as well as at Ballymather in the parish of 
Killead in Antrim, the town of the methers; and 
possibly the name of Rathmadder in the parish of 
Kilfree in Sligo, may preserve some dim memory of 
the revelry carried on in old times in the rath or re- 
sidence of the chief. 

Cuinneog, a churn, gives names to Ardnaguniog in 
the parish of Faughanvale in Derry, to Lisnagonoge 
near Holycross in Tipperary, and to Lisnagunogue 
near Bushmills in Antrim, the first signifying the 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamtfactitrc. 187 

height, and the other two the fort of the churns ; the 
c being eclipsed by g in all three. 

How names of this class may take tlieir rise from 
legends — or perhaps sometimes the reverse — can be 
gathered from the following story, of which several 
different versions are found in Irish writings. Keat- 
ing has one ; Colgan, in his Life of St. Colman Mac 
Duach, has two others ; and the peasantry of Clare 
and Gralway will tell the legend as fully as either. 

Gualre [Groory], king of Oonnaught in the seventh 
centuiy, who was celebrated for his generosity and 
hospitality, had a brother, an ecclesiastic, a very 
holy man, whose name was Colman. This priest 
went one time to spend the Lent among the rocks and 
forests of BiuTen, in the north of the present county 
of Clare ; he was attended by only one young man, 
who acted as his clerk ; and they lived in a desert 
spot, by a well of pure water, five miles from Durlas 
(juary, the king's palace. They ate only one meal 
a day, and that consisted of a bit of barley bread, a 
few sprigs of cress, and a drink of water from the 

In this manner they passed the seven long weeks 
of Lent, till at last Easter Sunday came round ; when 
the poor young clerk, feeling quite worn out, as well 
he might, by his long abstinence and poor fare, was 
seized with a longing desire for flesh meat ; so he 
came to his master, and told him that he was about 
to go immediately to the palace at Durlas, to have 
one good meal. "Stay with me," said Colman, 
"and I will see whether I cannot procure a dinner 
for you where you are :" so he prayed that meat 
might be brought to the clerk. 

It so happened that the king's dinner was pre- 
paring at this same time in Durlas Gruary ; a noble 

188 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

diuner, with everything in lavish profusion — so it ever 
was in the house of Guary the hospitable ; and among 
a great variety of dishes, a boar and a stag, cooked 
whole, were brought to table on a pair of enormous 
trenchers. Everything was ready, and the king and 
his guests were seated, just as Colman and the clerk 
had finished their conversation. All at once the 
dinner was lifted from the table by some invisible 
power, before the wondering eyes of his majesty ; 
trenchers, dishes, and methers, boar and stag and 
all, floated gently through the open doors and win- 
dows — not as much remained on the table as would 
make a meal for a wolf dog — and as soon as they 
had got fairly outside the palace, they set off with 
great expedition straight towards the little hermitage 
among the hills of Burren. 

The monarch and his guests, after recovering a 
little from their astonishment, resolved to make an 
effort to overtake their dinner and bring it back : 
so after a hurried preparation, they took horse ; and 
the whole company, horsemen, footmen, and dogs, 
with the king at their head, instantly started in 
pursuit. They kept the dishes in view, but were 
not able to overtake them, and after a close chase, 
they arrived near the hermitage, hungry and tired, 
just in time to see them alighting at the feet of 
Colman and the clerk. 

The young man was much delighted to see so fine 
and plentiful a dinner provided for him, as well as 
greatly amazed at the strange manner of its appear- 
ance ; and he was about to begin his meal, when 
happening to look round, he saw the rocky slope of 
the opposite hill covered with a tumultuous crowd, 
all making straight towards him. So he turned 
once more to his master, and addressed him, saying. 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture . 189 

that he saw not the least good in getting a din- 
ner of meat, while there was such an angry mul- 
titude ready to dispute it with him. "Eat your 
dinner in peace," said Colman, "there is no danger, 
for it is my brother, the king, and his household, 
and I will take care that they shall not interrupt 

The moment he had done speaking, the feet of the 
horses, men, and dogs, were fastened to the ground, 
and the horsemen to their seats, so that they were 
unable to advance one inch farther ; and while the 
monarch and his nobles were looking on, the clerk 
sat down and ate a hearty meal at his leisure before 
their eyes. As soon as he had finished, the company 
were released ; the king recognised his brother, who 
explained the whole affair ; and they all seated them- 
selves — except of course the clerk — and ate their 
dinner in comfort and quietness. 

The road traversed by the dinner, in the latter 
part of its flight, is still pointed out, and it is uni- 
versally known by the name of Bothar-na-mias 
[Bohernameece], the road of the dishes. It is 
situated in a rocky valley in the townland of Keel- 
hilly,* in the parish of Carran, five miles south-west 
from the village of Kinvarra ; and it runs along the 
base of a precipice called Kinawlia or the head of 
the cliff". The flat surface of the limestone rocks on 
the opposite hillside is full of small holes, of various 
shapes and sizes, very curious and very striking to 
look at ; a geologist would say that they were worn 
in the rock by the rain, in the course of ages ; but 
they are in reality the tracks of the men, horses, and 
dogs — the very tracks where their feet were firmly 
fastened to give the clerk time to eat his dinner. 

* Cael-ckoille, narrow wood. 

190 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

This strange legend is a good example of the 
manner in which fabulous tales were interwoven 
with the authentic acts of the early saints. The 
chief person here was a man well known in the his- 
tory of the early church of Ireland. He was a near 
relative of Guaire Aidhne, king of Connanght, but 
not his brother, as the story has it. He was called 
CoIman-inac-Duach, or more usually Mac DiiacJi, i. e. 
Duacl/^s son ; for his father was Duach, eighth in 
descent from Dathi, king of Ireland a little before 
the time of St. Patrick. In the early part of his 
career he lived as a hermit with only one attendant, 
for seven years, in the solitudes of Burren. At the 
end of that time the king discovered his retreat, and 
offered him as much land as he wished to take, for 
the establishment of a religious community ; but 
Colman accepted only a small spot, not far from his 
little hermitage, in which he erected a monastery, 
where he afterwards became a bishop. He died in 
the middle of the seventh century. 

This good saint has been greatly and deservedly 
revered ; the monastery he founded flourished long 
after him ; and the place, which is situated three 
miles from Gort, contains the remains of a round 
tower and of several churches. Moreover it still 
retains the founder's name, for it is called Kilmac- 
duagh, the church of Duach's son ; and it has 
given name both to the parish and to the diocese. 

Colman-mac-Duagh is still vividly remembered! 
and much venerated by the people, and his name] 
lives in the topography of the whole neighbourhood. 
There are several wells called Tober-mac-Duagh, • 
one of which is engraved and described in the Dub- ' 
lin Penny Journal (Vol. I., p. 200). The ruins of 
his little hermitage, Temple-mac-Duagh, still remain ■ 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufadim. 191 

iu the lonely valley, near Bohernameece ; near it is 
another Tober-mac-Duagh, the identical well men- 
tioned in the legend and in the authentic Lives of 
the Saint, where stations are performed to this day ; 
and immediately over it there is a cave in the rock, 
called Labha-mac-Duagh, or Mac Duagh's bed, in 
which tradition says he slept every night during liis 
residence in the valley. It is interesting to remark 
that the present name of the cliff which rises over 
the hermitage — Kinawlia — is the very name used in 
the ancient Life of the saint : — " He fixed his resi- 
dence near a pleasant fountain [now Tober-mac- 
Duagh] in the great wood of Boireann, and in that 
part of it which is called Kinu-aille, about five miles 
from Durlas, the palace of Guaire." (Colgan : 
Acta Sanctorum, 244 b. cap. vi.) 

Half a mile east of Kinvarra, on the sea shore, 
stands an ancient circular fort, one of those so com- 
mon in most parts of Ireland ; and this is all that 
remains of the hospitable palace of Durlas. More- 
over it has lost the old name, and is now known by 
the equivalent name of Dioi-Guaire, or as it is 
anglicised, Dungorey, Guary's fortress. A modern 
castle built by the O'Heynes — modern compared 
with the earthen circumvallations — stands in the 
middle of the fort, and occupies the very site of the 
house of Guary the Hospitable.* 

After all, the story of the dishes may, like most 
other legends, rest on a foundation of fact. We may 
suppose that on some particular Easter Sunday dur- 
ing Colman's residence in Burren, the king took it 

* See O'Donovan's letters on the parishes of Kinvarra and 
Kilmacduagh in Galway, and Carran in Clare, in the Koyal 
Irisli Academy, Dublin. 

192 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

into his head to go himself, with his household, to 
dine with him ; and that as Colman had a poor 
kitchen, the king sent on the dinner ready cooked, 
and followed after with the whole assembly. Such 
a transaction would impress the people with wonder 
and admiration, and in the long lapse of ages their 
imagination would be sure to shape the tradition 
into some such marvellous story as the legend of 

There is a high mountain about eight miles west 
of Dunmanway in Cork, whose name contains this 
word mias (which is cognate with Lat. niensa) : — 
viz., Mullaghmesha, in Irish, MuIIach-meise, the sum- 
mit of the disli. But here the name is probably 
derived from some dish-like hollow on or near the 
summit of the mountain. 

Sacks or Bags. Why it is that places took their 
names from sacks or bags, it is not easy to determine, 
unless we resort to the old explanation that sack 
makers lived in them; or perhaps the places may 
have been so called from the use of an unusual num- 
ber of sacks in farming operations, in storing corn, 
flour, &c. In the year a. d. 598 there was a terrible 
battle fought at a place called in all the Irish au- 
thorities Dunbolg — tlie fort of the sacks — near Holly- 
wood in Wicklow, in which the king of Ireland, 
Hugh the son of Ainmire, was defeated and slain by 
Branduhh, king of Leinster. This name is not now 
remembered in the neighbourhood, though the people 
have still some dim traditions of the battle; but there 
is a parish of the same name in Cork, now called 

The word bokj^ which forms part of these names 
and of those that follow, and which is still in constant 
use, corresponds with the old Gaulish hnlga, meaning 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mannfactiire. 193 

a little bag of leather (Stokes in Cor. Gl.) Caher- 
bullog in the parish of Kilmoon in the north of Clare, 
has nearly the same signification as the last name, only 
with caher, a stone fort, insteadof (f?o? ; and with much 
the same meaning still, we have Moherbullog near 
Corrofin in the same connty — nw/icr, a ruined fort. 
It will be perceived that these four names were 
originally applied to circular forts, which themselves 
for some reason or another took their names from 
sacks. I will remark here that the word holrj is some- 
times applied to a quiver for arrows ; but for several 
reasons I do not think that this is the sense in which 
the word is applied in those names. 

Then we have Moybolgue, now the name of a 
parish, partly in Meath and partly in Cavan, which 
is mentioned in some of our oldest authorities by the 
name of Magh-holg, the plain of the sacks ; and Clon- 
bulloge (cliiain, a meadow) in King's County and 
Carlow. There is a parish in Gral way called Killimor- 
bologue, which signifies Killimor of the sacks ; 
while Killimor itself means the church of the patron 
saint Imor, who is thought to have lived in the twelfth 

Baskets. The word cllaJjh [cleeve] a basket, is 
found in the oldest documents of the language, and 
it is still a living word: even among the English 
speaking people in some parts of Ireland, you will 
hear talk of a cJecre of turf, of potatoes, &c. A con- 
siderable number of names, some of them of high 
antiquity, are formed from this word. 

One of the best known is that of Drumcliff near 
the town of Sligo, where a monastery was either 
founded by St. Columkille, or dedicated to him soon 
after his death, and where there are still the remains 
of a round tower. As being an ecclesiastical estab- 


194 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

lishment of great note it is very often mentioned in 
ancient Irish authorities, and always written Druim- 
chliabh, the hill ridge of baskets. There is also a 
Drumcliff in Clare, and another in Donegal, while we 
have Drumcleave in Tipperary, all meaning the same 
thing ; and there is a townland in Monaghan called 
Lisdrumcleve {lis, a fort). The c becomes eclipsed 
by the insertion of the article in Grortnagleav in the 
parish of Killinan in Glalway, Qort-na-gcUahh, the 
field of the baskets. 

The diminutive cUahhdn [cleevaun] is used to sig- 
nify a cradle. It is hard to say with certainty why 
a high mountain near Sallygap in Wicklow was 
called Mullaghcleevaun, the summit of the cradle ; 
probably it was from the shape of some hollow or 
cradle-shaped rock near the top. There is also a 
little hill which gives name to a small lake and a 
townland three miles south-east of the village of 
Fivemiletown in Tyrone, called Crockacleaven, cradle 
hill {crock, properly cnoc, a hill) ; and Coolaclevane, 
the corner or angle {ciiil) of the cradle, is the name 
of a place about three miles east of Inchigeelagh in 

In Meatli and Cavan the people use a kind of 
basket for fishing which they call scudal ; from which 
Lough Skuddal, a small branch of Lough Sillau near 
Shercock in Cavan, derives its name — the lake of the 
fishing basket. 

Hurdles. In discussing the name of Dublin in 
the First Series, I had occasion to speak of the word 
cUath, a hurdle, and of the application of hurdles to 
the construction of wickerwork fords. There are 
other places which have taken their names from 
this word, where hurdles were applied to other pur- 
poses not so easily defined. Cliflbny, a village in 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 195 

the north of Sligo, is called in Irish Cliathnhuiney 
meaning hurdle-shrubbery {muine, shrubbery) — so 
called I suppose because the shrubbery supplied the 
hurdle makers with twigs. 

The simple word gives name to several townlands 
now called Clay in Armagh, Down, and Fermanagh ; 
another anglicised form is seen in Cleaboy in E,os- 
common and Waterford, j'ellow hurdle ; and still 
another in Cleaghbeg, Cleaghgarve, and Cleagh- 
more, in Roscommon and Galway — meaning re- 
spectively little, rough, and great hurdle. It is 
seen as a termination in Tullyclea in the parish of 
DerryvuUan in Fermanagh, the little hill of the 
hurdle ; and the diminutive gives name to Cleaheen, 
little hurdle, in the parish of Tumna in Roscommon, 
I think it probable that in some of these places the 
hurdles were used in the construction of fords across 
small streams. 

Nets. There may have been several reasons why 
places received names from nets — from fishing, or 
from bird-catching, or from the manufacture of the 
nets themselves : but I suppose the greater number 
of such names originated in fishing. Cochall is one 
of the Irish words for a net, especially a small fish- 
ing net ; the word, however, is more commonly ap- 
plied to a hood, corresponding with the Latin 
cnculhis, and English cowl. At the present day, it 
is generally applied in the south, to any covering 
for the shoulders, and in the north to a net. 

There is a townland near Killashandra in Cavan — 
a spot situated in the midst of a lake district — 
called Drumcoghill, the ridge of the net; Coolcoghill 
{cul, the back of a hill) is a place near Maguire's 
Bridge in Fermanagh ; Lisacoghill, the fort of the 
net, is the name of a townland in the parish of 


196 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xt. 

Inishmagratli in Leitrim. At the bridge of Bally- 
coghill, over the Ballybay river, near the village of 
Rockcorry in Monaghan, the former practice of net 
fishing in connexion with the name, is still re- 
membered in tradition. 

Beetles. Those who have had opportunities of 
observing the customs of the peasantry, must have 
often seen the village girls beetling clothes at a 
stream — beating them on a large smooth stone, 
while saturated with water, with a flat, heavy, 
wooden beetle or mallet, a part of the process of 
washing. This beetle is called in Irish slis [slish]. 

In former days there was a ford — evidently an 
important one, if we may judge from the scenes 
enacted at it — over the Owenure river, one mile 
from the town of Elphin in E-oscommon, on the 
road to Strokestown ; which must have been a 
favourite spot for this kind of work, as it got the 
name of Ath-slisean, the ford of the beetles — for so 
the Four Masters designate it when recording a 
battle fought there in 1288, in which Cathal O'Conor, 
king of Connaught, was defeated by his brother 
Manus. There was another battle fought there in 
1342, in recording which, the annalists call the 
place Bcl-atha-slisean, the ford-mouth of the beetles ; 
and this is the present name of the bridge which 
now spans the old ford, anglicised to Bellaslishen. 
We have one example in our old records of a ford 
deriving its name from the custom of washing at it ; 
viz. Bel-atha-na-nidheadh, — so called in Hy Fiach- 
rach — the mouth of the ford of the washings, a ford 
on the Owenboy river, a mile and a half from the 
village of Foxford in Mayo. 

It was no doubt for some reason of this kind that 
Cappanaslish in the parish of Killokennedy in Clare 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamifacture. 197 

received its name — Ceajjach-na-slis, the garden-plot 
of the beetle. There is a mountain called Slish 
rising over the south shore of Lough Gill near Sligo ; 
possibly taking its name from its shape. 

Seindile [shindilla] is another word for a beetle, 
from which a lake on the left of the road from Clifden 
to Oughterard in Galwaj^, is called Lough Shindilla, 
probably from some fancied likeness between its 
shape and that of a beetle : or perhaps the women 
were formerly accustomed to beetle clothes on its 
shores. Another and probably the original form of 
this word is mlmhdile [shevdilla] from which Shiv- 
dilla near Mohill in Leitrim takes its name ; and 
this form also gives name to Kinatevdilla, the west- 
ern point of Clare island off Ma3^o— the .s being here 
eclipsed by t — Ceann-a-tseimhdile, beetle head. 

Anvils. About three hundred years before the 
Christian era, there lived, according to the Dinn- 
senchus, a celebrated artificer in metals named Len 
of the white teeth, who was cerd or goldsmith to the 
fairy mansion of Bove Derg at Slievenamon. He 
was employed one time to make certain precious 
articles — diadems, brooches, cups, &c., for the lady 
Fand, who lived at Lough Leane, or the Lakes of 
Killarney. He travelled, it seems, every morning 
from his home near Slievenamon to the lake (about 
eighty English miles) to begin his day's work ; and 
returned the same journey in the evening ; but 
before setting out for home each day, he flung his 
anvil before him, with such force and precision, that 
it always dropped down exactly at his own residence. 
Hence the place has been ever since known by 
the name of Liueoin [Innone], or "The Anvil." 
(See O'Curry, Lect., III., 203 : see also 1st Ser. 
Part IV., c. IV.) This place was, many ages after- 

198 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

wards, the chief residence of the Decies, so that it 
was often called in the annals, Inneoin of the Decies. 
It is now called bj the modernised name Mul- 
laghnoney, the hill summit {Mullach) of Inneoin; 
and it is situated in the parish of Newchapel near 

Several townlands and natural features have got 
names from anvils ; we may, I suppose, infer that at 
some former time there was a forge at each of these 
places ; and probably not a few over-critical readers, 
who may have some misgivings as to the truth of 
the legend of Len and his anvil, will be inclined to 
account for the name of Inneoin of the Decies in the 
same simple way. 

There is a place called Ballynona near the village 
of Dungourney in Cork ; and another called Bally- 
nooney in the parish of Kilbeacon in Kilkenny ; both 
of which probably once belonged to smiths, for the 
names signify the town of the anvil. Another form 
of this word is seen in TuUynahinnera in the parish 
of AghnamuUen in Monaghan, in which Tully is 
corrupted from talamh, land (land of the anvil) ; and 
in Grubnahinneora, the name of a rocky point on the 
north coast of the western extremity of Achill 
island, so called because it resembles the cor-chip 
or horn of an anvil. I suppose the name of Kil- 
linordan, east of Strokestown in Roscommon, origi- 
nated like most of the preceding : — Coill-an-ordain, 
the wood of the little sledge-hammer. So also E-ath- 
ordan near Cashel, the fort of the hammers. 

Scollops. Kscolb (scollob), commonly called a scol- 
lop by the English-speaking people, is a spray or 
twig about twenty inches long, used in fastening 
thatch on houses. When about being used it is 
doubled up in the middle in the form of a loop, and 

CHAP, XI.] Articles of Manufacture. 199 

its two ends, which are pointed, are driven with, the 
hand into the thatch. According to O'Curry (Lect. 
III., 32) this method of fastening thatch — whether 
of straw, rushes, or sedge — was used in roofing the 
ancient Irish circular wicker-work houses ; and we 
know that it is still practised all over the country. 

The name of DerryscoUop in Armagh, near Moy, 
indicates that there must have been formerly a derry 
or oak wood there, in which the people were in the 
habit of cutting twigs for scollops. Inchinsquillib 
in the parish of Toem in Tipperary, is the inch 
or river-holm of the scollop — so called possibly from 
the looped shape of the stream. Scullaboge in the 
parish of Newbawn in Wexford, figures unhappily 
in the rebellion of 1798 ; but its name conveys none 
of this history ; for it is simply Scolbog (see p. 1 9), 
a place producing twigs for scollops. 

Candlesticks. To any one unacquainted with the 
multifarious ways in which local names grew up in 
Ireland, the name of Ballykinler, a parish on the 
shore of Dundrum bay in Down, would appear 
eccentric and puzzling ; for the latter part of the 
name represents the Irish coinleoir, or in its old form 
caindluir, a candlestick (Lat. candelabrum), from coin- 
ncal or caindel, a candle ; and the whole name is 
Baile-caindlera, the town of the candlestick. But 
the name is quite natural ; for Ballykinler was what 
is called a luminary to the cathedral of Christ Church 
in Dublin, that is, it was appropriated to supply the 
altar of that church with waxlights. It was granted 
by John De Courcy about the year 1200, and it 
remained in possession of the old cathedral until very 
recently (Eeeves : Eccl. Ant., p. 210). We find the 
very same name applied to a tract of land between 
Arklow and Gorey in Wexford, now divided into three 

200 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

townlands ; but the name is in the slightly varied form 
of Balljconlore, the latter part of which exactly re- 
presents the pronunciation of the modern Irish form 
coinleoir. Whether this place received its name in 
the same sense as Ballykinler, or directly from the 
article itself, I am not able to tell. One thing we 
know, that the coinleoir was formerly a usual article 
of furniture, and we find it laid down in the law 
tract called Crith Gahhlach, that in the house of a 
bo-aire, or tenant farmer, there should be, among 
many other articles, " a candle on a candlestick 
without fail." (O'Curry, III., 486). 

Charcoal. The making of charcoal was under- 
stood and practised at a very early period in Ire- 
land ; for according to the law tract last quoted 
(O'Curry : same page) the ho-aire was obliged to 
have " three sacks in his house ; a sack of malt ; 
a sack of bulrushes for dressing the wounds of his 
cattle ; a sack of coals for [forging] the irons." 

The spots where charcoal used to be manufactured 
in times of old are still discernible in various parts of 
the country ; for in such places the soil is to this day 
quite black, and mixed with, the dust and small 
fragments of charcoal. Places of this kind often 
retain names containing the word gual, which of 
course is cognate with the English coa/, and which 
signifies either coal or charcoal. In names, however, 
the local tradition always points to charcoal, which 
must be correct, as the introduction of coal as fuel is 
comparatively recent. There is a little point of land 
jutting into Lough Erne, a mile from the village of 
Pettigo, and anotlier just opposite on Boa island, both 
of which are called by the same name, Rossgole, that is, 
Ros-guail, the peninsula of the charcoal. Grlengoole, 
charcoal glen, is the name of a place near Killenaule in 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Mamifacture. 201 

Tipperary ; and there is a townland near the village 
of Caledon in Tyrone, called Derrygooly, where of 
course the dcrry or oak wood supplied the materials 
for making the charcoal. 

Milk, butter, lard. Though these commodities can 
hardly be ranked under the heading of this chapter, 
yet the names derived from them may be treated of 
conveniently here. 

When a place got its name from milk or butter, it 
may be surmised that at some former time cows 
sheep, or goats used to be milked, or general dairy 
operations carried on there — something like the 
hooUcs of old times described in the First Series. In 
some cases it is certain that names of this kind were 
applied to rich pasture land — land producing milk 
and butter in abundance. 

The common word for milk is hnine [bonnia, banny], 
and it occurs in names in such forms as wannij, 
ranmj, wmnij — the h being aspirated to v. Tawna- 
wanny, the name of a townland in the parish of 
Templecarn in Fermanagh, signifies the field {tamh- 
nach) of the milk ; Tullinwannia in Leitrim and 
Tullinwonny in Fermanagh, milk hill ; Coolavanny 
near Castleisland in Kerry, the corner of the milk. 

New milk is denoted by leamlinacht [lewnaght] ; 
but the old form, as we find it in Cormac's Glossary, 
is lemlacht, the / being changed to n (see First Ser. 
Part I., c. III.) in modern Irish. In its simple form 
it gives name to two townlands called Leunaght, one 
in Monaghan and the other in Kilkenny ; while the 
diminutive Loonaghtan is the name of a place near 
Ahascragh in Gralway, signifying new-milk land (see 
p. 19). There is a townland giving name to a parish 
near Clonmel, called Inishlounaght, the river-holm 
of new milk, where O'Faelan, prince of the northern 

202 Articles ofManufadure. [chap. xi. 

Decies, had his stronghold ; and where O'Brien, king 
of Limerick, and O'Faelan founded an abbey in 1187. 
The Irish form of the name as given by Keating, is 
Inis-leainhnachta, the river-holm of the new milk; 
and the place obviously got this name from the beau- 
tiful inch along the Suir, between Clonmel and Marl- 
field. The word occurs in many other names, such 
as Drumlaunaght in Cavan (Drum, a long hill), 
Fahanlunaghta near Ennistimon in Clare, and Grort- 
launaght in Cavan, both signifying the field [faithche 
and (joH) of the new milk. Near the western shore 
of Lough Derg, in the parish of Clonrush in Gralway, 
there is a small lake called Lough Alewnaghta, new 
milk lake, which may have been so called from the 
softness of its water. 

Keating accounts for a name of this kind by a 
legend about one of those medicinal baths spoken of at 
page 74. During the short time that the Picts resided 
in Ireland, before their migration to Scotland, many 
centuries before the Christian era, Criff'an, the king 
of Leinster, and his subjects, were sorely annoyed by 
a hostile people in his neighbourhood, who used 
poisoned weapons, so that whoever received a wound 
from them, no matter how trifling, was sure to die of 
it. The king at last consulted a learned Pictish druid 
named Trosclan, who told him to have a bath pre- 
pared on the occasion of the next battle, with the 
milk of 150 white hornless cows, in which each 
wounded man was to be bathed. Criffan, as soon as 
he had procured the cows, at once sent a challenge 
to his adversaries ; and on the eve of the battle he 
had the bath prepared just as the druid directed. 
As fast as the king's men were wounded they were 
plunged into the bath, from which they came out as 
well as ever ; so that the Leinster army routed their 

CHAP. XI.] Articles of Manufacture, 203 

foes with dreadful slaughter. From this event the 
place came to be called Ard-lemnachta, the height of 
the new milk. 

The art of making and saving butter appears to 
have been known in Ireland from the earliest ages ; 
for it is mentioned with milk, curds, cheese, &c., in 
our oldest literature. In later times it was custom- 
ary to sink butter deep down in bogs, closed up in 
casks or baskets, to give it a flavour. Among the 
food of the Irish, Dinelej (a. d. 1675) mentions butter 
" mixed with store of * * * a kind of garlick, and 
buried for some time in a bog to make a provi- 
sion of an high taste for Lent." Sir William Petty 
also mentions butter made rancid by keeping in bogs ; 
and other authorities to the same effect might be 
quoted. Whether this custom existed in ancient 
times I am unable to say ; but at any rate, its pre- 
valence even at this late period, is a sufficient expla- 
nation of the fact that butter is now very often found 
in vessels of various shapes and sizes, deeply em- 
bedded in bogs ; sometimes in firkins not very differ- 
ent from those now in use (see Sir W. R. Wilde's 
Catal. Ant., p. 212). Several specimens of this bog 
butter, as it is commonly called, are to be seen in 
the Royal Irish Academy Museum. In all cases the 
butter is found to be changed by the action of the 
bog water, into a greyish cheese-like substance, par- 
tially hardened, not much like butter, and quite free 
from putrefaction. 

From the word ini, butter {imh, in Cor. Gl.), we 
have several names. There is a townland near Mal- 
low in Cork, giving name to a parish called Monanimy 
(accent on im) which signifies the bog of the butter; 
and we may conjecture that the bog received its 
name from the quantity of butter found in it. Half 

204 Articles of Manufacture. [chap. xi. 

a mile from Clifden in Gralway is a little lake called 
Lough Animma, butter lake ; and another of the 
same name lies two miles east of Ballymore in West- 
meath. Derrjnim is the name of a townland in the 
parish of Cleenish, Fermanagh; and there is another 
called Carriganimma, seven miles north-west from 
Macroom, the first signifying the wood, and the 
second the rock, of the butter. 

Why were places named from lard ? Perhaps 
such names indicate that pigs were fattened in the 
respective places. Whatever the origin may be, it is 
certain that we have several names from the word 
hlonog, which signifies lard, fat, or suet. Such for 
instance is Corblonog in the parish of Tedavnet 
in Monaghan, the round hill of the lard ; Killy- 
blunick Glebe in Tyrone, — and Derrynablunnaga 
south of the lakes of Killarney, these two last signi- 
fying the wood of the lard ; and there is a place 
called Caherblonick {eahcr a round stone fort) near 
the lake of Inchiquin in Clare. 

The following names are derived from various 
articles of manufacture. There is a small lake in 
Donegal, two miles south-east from the village of 
Grlenties, called Lough Nasnahida, the lake of the 
needle : — sndthad, a needle. There is a parish in 
Longford called Forgney, taking its name from a 
townland, which must have been so called from some 
remarkable building ; for forgnaidh signifies an edi- 
fice or a building. Slahhra [slavra, sloura], is a 
chain. Two miles east of Ardara in Donegal, is a 
hill called Crockasloura, which means the hill of the 
chain {crock for knock, a hill) ; and Derrintloura is 
the name of a townland in the parish of Islandeady, 
west of Castlebar in Mayo, the derry or oak grove of 
the chain {Doire-an-tslcihhrd), the s of slahhra being 

CHAP. xn.J Boundaries and Fences. 205 

here eclipsed by t as it ought to be. In the western 
extremity of the townland of Athliinkard, on the 
Clare side of the Shannon, near the city of Limerick, 
there is a small rock within a few yards of the Shan- 
non, called Carrickatloura, the rock of the chain ; and 
in this place there is a tradition to explain the name : 
that at the siege of Limerick, the English army cross- 
ed the Shannon at this spot by means of a chain which 
was thrown across the river and fastened on the 
Clare side to this rock. 



JBnt and its derivative bruach, both signify a 
border, brink, or margin ; but it is commonly ap- 
plied to the brink of a stream or glen. The latter 
of the two is the term generally found in names ; 
and its most usual anglicised form is Brough, which 
is the name of a place near Doneraile in Cork. 
Broughshane in Antrim signifies John's border; 
Broughderg, red border, is the name of places in 
Cavan, Fermanagh, and Tyrone ; and it is the same 
as Dergbrough in Tyrone, with the root words 
transposed. Broughmore in Antrim is the same as 
Bromore in Kerry — great border. The diminutive 
in ciii also occurs, giving origin to Broughan and 
Broughane in Armagh and Kerry (little border) ; 
and to Broughanlea, the name of a place east of 
Ballycastle in Antrim, grey little border. 

206 Boundaries and Fences. [chap, xit, 

Crioch [creea] means an end, confine, or boundary ; 
but it is an unsatisfactory term to deal with here, 
for it is very hard to distinguish it in anglicised 
names from other words like it in sound but different 
in meaning. When it is found in names we may 
conclude that it marks the ancient boundaries of 
farms, townlands, or territories. Its most common 
modern form is Creagh, which either simply or in 
combination, gives names to several townlands and 
parishes ; it sometimes drops the aspirate at the end, 
as in Cavan and King's County, where there are 
some places called Cree and Creea. In an extended 
sense this word has come to signify also a country 
or territory, exactly like the Latin fines. For ex- 
ample the country of the O'Byrnes in Wicklow 
is called Crioch Branach. The Book of Eights, 
O'Heeren's poem, and other authorities, mention a 
tribe named Ui-Buklhe, i. e. the tribe or family of 
O'Boy ; who are described as seated on the west 
side of the Barrow. In one of these old books we 
are told that the church of Killabban lies in the 
territory of this tribe ; from which we are enabled 
to fix the exact position. This ancient territory is 
commonly called in Irish writings, Crioch Ua mBuidhe, 
i. e. the country of the O'Boys ; and the tribe name 
still exists in the name of the parish of Tullomoy, 
which sufficiently represents the sound of Tiil-0- 
mBuidhe, the hill of the O'Boys — the B being eclipsed 
by m according to the law explained at page 1 35 
(See O'Donovan in Book of Eights, 213). 

The accounts left us of St. Abban, the founder of 
the church of Killabban, south of Athy in Queen's 
County, are very contradictory. It appears, however, 
that he was born in Leinster in the sixth century ; 
and his mother Mella is said to have been a sister of 

CHAP. XII.] Boundaries and Fences. 207 

St. Kevin of Grlendalough ; he founded several 
churches and died in a place called Magh-Arnaidhe 
[Moyarney ; plain of sloes] in Wexford, greatly 
revered for goodness and holiness of life. In his 
Life published by Colgan, it is stated that when 
Abban and his clergy came among the tribe of Ily- 
niBairrche (from whom the barony of Slievemargy 
took its name — see First Series), these people gave 
him a joyous welcome ; and he built a great monas- 
tery there, and laid the foundation of a town ; " and 
the monastery and the town are called in the Scotic 
(i, e. Irish) language by one name, Ceall Abbain, 
which in Latin is interpreted CeUn-Abbani" — in 
English, Abban's Church, which name has been ex- 
tended to the parish. 

Teora [tora] is a border or boundary ; the regular 
genitive is tedtwui, as it is preserved in Ballytoran 
on the borders of Tipperary and King's County, 
near the village of Cloghjordan, and in Knocktoran 
near Knockloug in Limerick, the town and the hill 
of the boundary. A corrupt modification of the word 
appears in the name of a lake called Loughatorick, so 
called because it lies on the boundary between the 
counties of Galway and Clare, and the boundary line 
ran through it in 1604, as appears by an Inquisition 
of that date (Hy Many, 69). 

lorrus. O'Flaherty, at page 96 of his description 
of lar Connaught, says, " Many lands here, environed 
for the most part by the sea, are called Irros, with 
an adjection to distinguish them one from another. 
The proper form of the word is iornis ; and some 
have thought that it signifies western promontory — 
iar, west, ros, a promontory —while others believe 
that it means nothing more than a border or limit." 
Hardiman, the editor of O'Flaherty, says it means a 

208 Boundaries and Fences. [chap. xit. 

border, brink, margin, promontory, or headland. 
There can be no doubt that the word was applied to 
a peninsula ; for all the iorriises of Gralway are penin- 
sulas ; as for instance lornis-heag, the peninsula lying 
west of Eoundstone, which still retains the name of 
Errisbeg ; lorrus-ainliagh, the old name of the penin- 
sula between the bays of Bertraghboy and Kilker- 
rin ; lorrus-mor, the peninsula which terminates in 
Slyne Head ; lorrus-FkuDian, the little point of land 
south-west of Clifden, between Mannin bay and 
Ardbear bay. 

The barony of Erris in Mayo is the best known 
place taking its name from this word ; but although 
the name now covers an extensive territory, it may 
be safely assumed that it belonged originally to the 
peninsula at present called the Mullet, from which 
it was extended to the whole district. There is a 
townland called Erris near Boyle in Roscommon, 
taking its name from a little point of land jutting 
into Lough Key. Erris is another name for Skirk 
Glebe near Borris-in-Ossory in Uueen's County, 
which O'Donovan thinks was so called because it 
was on the borders of the ancient territory of Ossory. 
Other forms of the word are exhibited in Urros in 
the parish of Inishmacsaint in Fer]nanagli ; Urris- 
menagh (middle urris) in the parish of Clonmany in 
Inisbowen, Donegal ; and Urrasaun in the parish of 
Tibohine in Roscommon, which is a diminutive, 
meaning little border or peninsula. Some of the 
preceding are situated inland, which would tend to 
show that this word was used to designate a border 
as well as a peninsula. 

Termons. In Ireland as in other Christian coun- 
tries, many of the churches had the right of sanc- 
tuary. A small piece of laud was usually fenced off 

CHAP. XTi.] Boundaries and Fences. 209 

round the church, and the four corners were often 
marked by crosses or pillar-stones ; this land was 
regarded as belonging exclusively to the church ; and 
criminals fleeing from justice, or fugitives from their 
enemies, were safe from molestation for the time, 
once they had taken refuge either in the church itself 
or inside the boundary. 

The word tearmann was originally applied to those 
termini or boundaries, and in this sense it exactly cor- 
responds with Latin terminus ; but it was afterwards 
extended in meaning till it came to signify a sanctuary 
or asylum ; and this is the sense in which it is gene- 
rally used in Irish writings. It was often popularly 
used in a still more general way, to denote church 
lands, or lands belonging to a sanctuary, so that the 
expression "termon lands" is quite common in Anglo- 
Irish writings. 

This word is still retained in a good many local 
names, marking the precincts of sanctuaries ; and in 
several of these the sj)ots are almost as much venerated 
now as they were a thousand years ago, though they 
no longer afford an asylum to the fugitive. The 
memory of St. Fecliin is preserved in the name Ter- 
monfeckin — Fechin's sanctuary, now applied to a 
parish near Drogheda. St. Berach, the founder of a 
church in the present county of Roscommon, who 
was descended from Brian, king of Connaught in the 
fourth century, flourished in the latter part of the 
sixth century, and was a pupil of St. Kevin of 
Glendalough. After leaving G-lendalough, he crossed 
the Shannon and founded an establishment for him- 
self at a place called Cluain-coirjothe [Clooncorpa], 
near the shore of the river, in the desert of Kin el 
Dofa, which afterwards attained to great eminence. 
The old name is now forgotten, and the founder, who 


210 Boundaries and Fences, [chap. xii. 

is still greatly venerated, is commemorated- in the 
present name of the church and parish, Termonbarry, 
St. Bemch's sanctuary. 

The warden or lay superintendent of church land 
was termed the erenagh (Irish aircheannach) ; and this 
office was commonly held by members of the same 
family for generations. In some places the termons 
have preserved the family names of the erenaghs 
instead of those of the patron saints. The church 
of St. Baheog or Baveog, one of the very early 
Irish saints, was situated in an island in Lough 
Derg in Donegal ; but the termon lands belonging 
to the church lay on the mainland, near the village of 
Pettigo. The hereditary wardens of this termon were 
the Magraths ; and accordingly the place is called in 
the Eour Masters, sometimes Termon Daveog, and 
sometimes Termon Magrath. The latter is the name 
now used, though it is usually shortened to Termon ; 
the ruins of Termon castle, the ancient residence of 
the Magraths, are still standing; and the sanctuary 
has given name to the little river Termon, flowing 
through Pettigo into Lough Erne. 

The parish of Termonmaguirk in Tyrone was an- 
ciently called Tearmann-cui)nni(jh, which name Dr. 
Eeeves (Adamn. 283) conjectures may have been 
derived from Cuimne, St. Columkille's sister. It got 
its present name from the family of MacGuirk, who 
were for a long time its hereditary wardens. In like 
manner the O'Mongans were the wardens of Termon- 
omongan in the west of the same county ; its ancient 
name being Kilkerril, from St. Caireall, the founder or 
patron of the church (Reeves : Colt. Vis. 72). Termon 
and Tarmon are the names of several places, indi- 
cating in every case the former existence of a sanc- 
tuary. Sometimes the word is found combined with 

CHAP. XII.] Boundaries mid Fences. 211 

other terms that have no reference to either patron 
or warden. Thus Termoncarragh, west of Behnullet 
in Mayo, means merely rough termon, in reference 
no doubt to the ruggedness of the ground. There 
is a phace near the village of Annascaul in the parish 
of Ballinacourty in Kerry, called Ballintermon, the 
town of the sanctuary ; and Ardtermon (sanctuary 
height) lies in the parish of Drumcliff in Sligo. 

Hedge. Fdl [faul] signifies a hedge or wall ; the 
fence that separated the lands of two adjacent occu- 
piers : and it is used in this sense in our oldest 
law tracts. In local names it often designates the 
land enclosed by a fdl; but this is altogether a 
modern application, which had no existence in the 
Irish language. In this latter sense it is understood 
by the people of Falnasoogaun, three miles north- 
west from Bally mote in Sligo, for the townland is 
also called in English, Ropefield {sugan, a rope). 

This word is usually found in anglicised names 
very little changed from its original form ; as we see 
in Falcarragh in Donegal, rough or rugged, fdl — 
and here also the meaning has probably been ex- 
tended to a field ; Falmacbreed and Falmacrilly in 
Antrim, MacBride's and MacCrilly's hedge or en- 
closure. The word is sometimes pronounced in two 
syllables (fain), giving rise to Fallowbeg in Queen's 
County, south of Athy (beg, little) ; Falloward and 
Fallowlea, both in the parish of Faugha,nvale in 
Derry (high and grey), and Fallowvee near Cushen- 
dall in Antrim, yellow hedge {buidhe). There is a 
place in the parish of Islandeady in Mayo, which is 
mentioned in Hy Fiachrach by the simple name Fal ; 
but it is now called Kilfaul, the wood of the hedge. 

Fallagh, Faulagh, and Faltagh, are adjective 
forms, found in various counties, all meaning a place 


212 Boundaries and Fences. [chap. xii. 

of hedges ; and Fauleens in Mayo (little hedges) is a 
diminutive. One of the plural forms i&falta, which 
has given names to several places now called Faltia, 
Falty, and Faulties ; Faltybanes in Donegal, white 
hedges or enclosed fields. 

When it comes in the end of names in the geni- 
tive plural with the article, it is usually represented 
by wall, val^ or vaul ; as in Cornawall near Newbliss 
in Monaghan, Cor-na-hhfdl, the little hill of the 
hedges ; TuUynavall near Oarrickmacross in Monagh- 
an, same meaning. There is an ancient fort near 
the village of Kilkeel in the south of the county 
Down, called Dunnaval, the fortress of the walls 
or hedges ; and a little island near Slyne head in 
Gralway, has the same name, but in the anglicised 
form Doonnawaul. 

In an old map of Belfast engraved in facsimile by 
Mr. Edmund Gretty in the Ulster Journal of Arch- 
aeology (Vol. III.), the district immediately south of 
the town, in the angle between the Blackstaff river 
and the Lagan, is called Tuoghe-na-fall ; it is written 
Tuoghnafall in a grant of Car. I. ; and in an Inqui- 
sition of 1605 (Reeves, Eccl. Ant. 346) it is called 
Tuogh of the Fall. The name of this old territory 
is still remembered ; for it is now locally known as 
" The Falls," and the Falls Road is a well known 
outlet of Belfast, leading through this district. Both 
the modern and the old forms of the name, obviously 
point to the original Irish Taath-na-hhfdl, the district 
of the/a/s — hedges or enclosures. 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 213 



Roads. On a former occasion I enumerated seve- 
ral terms for a road, and gave names derived from 
each.* There is yet another, which, though not so 
common as those, is yet used in the language, and 
deserves mention, as it enters into local nomencla- 

Rod [road] — old Irish rot — is exactly the same 
word as the English road ; but one is not derived 
from the other. For the English road comes from 
the Anglo-Saxon ; and we know that the Irish word 
has been used in the native language from a period 
long before English was known in this country. In 
the Grlossary of Cormac Mac CuUenan, a work of the 
end of the ninth century, rot is given as one of the 
terms for a road ; and from the way in which he 
mentions it, the word appears to have been used to 
denote a road just broad enough for the passage of 
a single chariot. It is also constantly used in other 
Irish writings, such as the Book of Rights, the 
Topographical Poem of O'Dugan (who, for instance, 
designates a certain district as " Clann Ruainne na 
rod sgothach," the Clann Ruainne of the flowery 
roads : p. 133), &c. ; and it still continues in use in 
the spoken language. 

We have a good many local names into which 
this word enters. There are two townlands in Wa- 
terford and one in Wexford, called Ballinroad, the 
town of the road; Lisnarode near the village of 

* First Ser. Part III., c. vi- 

214 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

Clonaslee in Queen's Count}^, signifies the lis or fort 
of the roads ; while the diminutive Rodeen, and the 
shorter form Roden — both meaning little road — are 
the names of several places in Cork, Roscommon, 
Waterford, and Tipperary. 

Causeimy. Tocliar, the usual term for a causeway, 
has been already dealt with ; but there is another 
word for the same thing, which is sometimes used, 
namely cohhas or cohhsa [couse or cousa] : in parts of 
the south of Ireland it is applied to stepping-stones 
across a river. It gives name to Couse, about two miles 
south of the city of Waterford ; and to Tincouse in 
the parish of Powerstown, south of Goresbridge in Kil- 
kenny, Tigh-an-chohhais, the house of the causeway. 

MoiDtd or di/ke. An artificial mound, dj^ke, or 
rampart of any kind, is usually designated by the 
word clad//, pronounced c/y or clee in the south half 
of Ireland, and clee or claw in the north. The word 
is also applied to the raised fences so universal in 
Ireland, separating field from field. Wherever we 
find this word in the name of a place, we must con- 
clude that it originated in some remarkable rampart, 
erected either for purposes of defence, or to separate 
two adjacent territories. Many of these old mounds 
are to be seen at the present day in various parts of 

Smith (Hist. Kerry, p. 219) mentions an ancient 
boundary of this kind called Clee Ruadg {cladh 
ruadh, red mound), which begins at Cahercarbery 
near Kerry Headf runs north-east towards the river 
Cashen, reappears at the other side of the river, and 
crosses the moimtain of Knockanore into Limerick. 
There is a still more remarkable ancient boundary 
wall in the valley of the Newry river, which is now 
commonly called the Danes' Cast ; but the Danes 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 215 

had no hand in its construction, for it was built to 
separate the ancient kingdoms of Oriel and Ulidia, 
many ages before the Danes came to Ireland. In 
case of some of these old ramparts the natives have 
a legend that they were rooted up by an enormous 
enchanted black pig. 

Near the village of Ballymore in TVestmeath, 
there is a townland called Clyglass, green mound ; 
and we have Clybaun (whitish) in Galwa}^, Cloyfin 
(white) near Coleraine, Clyroe and Clykeel in Cork 
(red, narrow), and Clynabroga in Limerick, the 
mound of the brogue or shoe (see p. 183). Porta- 
cloy — the port or landing place of the rampart — is 
the name of a coast-guard station, and of a little 
bay, near Benwee Head on the north-west point of 
Mayo. The word is exhibited with a different 
pronunciation in Grortaclee near Cushendall in An- 
trim, the field of the mound ; and another usual form 
is seen in Edenclaw near the village of Ederny in 
the north of Fermanagh, the edan or hill-brow of the 

The two words sonnach and tonnach both mean a 
wall, mound, rampart, or circular enclosure. As 
they are identical in meaning, and differ only 
in their initial letters, it seems probable that 
tonnach is merely a variety of sonnach, the t re- 
placing s under the influence of the article (1st 
Ser., Part I., c. ii.) ; for sonnaoJi is found in our oldest 
manuscripts, as for example in Lchor-na-hUidhre. 

Sonnach gives names to those places now called 
Sonnagh and Sunnagh, in all of which some remark- 
able defensive rampart must have existed. But 
tonnach is far more common in names, and assumes 
such anglicised forms as tonnagh, tunny, tonny, tony, 
&c. Derrintonny in Monaghan and Fermanagh, re- 

216 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

presents the sonnd. of Doire-an-tonnaig/i, the oak wood 
of the rampart ; Ardtonnagh near Lisbellav/ in 
Fermanagh, high mound. The names of Lissatunna, 
and Lissatnnny (the fort of the rampart) in Clare, 
Galway, Tipperary, and Westmeath, indicate that 
at each of these places there was a lis or fort de- 
fended by a circumvallation of unusual magnitude. 
In some of the preceding names the form maybe 
sonnach, with the s eclipsed in the usual way ; but 
this make makes no difference as to meaning. 

Trench. A trench, a deep furrow, a dry ditch, 
or pit, is usually designated by the word dais [clash], 
which is extremely common in the southern half of 
Ireland, as a component of local names, usually in 
the anglicised form clash. It is seldom met with in 
the north. Clash constitutes or begins the names of 
about 130 townlands; and enters into many combi- 
nations in other positions. Clashroe in Cork, King's 
County, and Waterford — red trench — must have 
been so called from the colour of the clay ; Clashnam- 
rock near Lismore, is Clais-na-mbroc, the trench of 
the badgers ; Clash william in Kilkenny, William's 
furrow ; Clashygowan in Donegal, O'Growan's furrow. 
There is a little village at the entrance to Glenma- 
lure in Wicklow, and several townlands in other 
parts of Ireland, called Ballynaclash, the town of 
the trench. 

Mill stream. Among the several Irish words be- 
ginning with sr which denote a stream (such as 
sruth, srnbh, &c.) srae or sraeth is used to designate 
a mill stream. Four miles east of the village of Ard- 
rahan in Galway, there is a little river that sinks 
into the ground, called Owenshree, the river of the 
mill-race. But the word almost always enters into 
names with the s elipsed by t, which changes it to 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 217 

tray^ trea, &c. This syllable, in the end of words, 
can usually be distinguished from tmy {traigk) a 
strand, by the form of the article ; for tray, a strand, 
is feminine, and takes na before it, when the article is 
used at all ; while fray, when it means a mill-race, 
is masculine, and takes one of the masculine forms of 
the article, an, a, n, or in, before it. 

This is illustrated by the two names Gorbiatraw 
and Grortatray ; the former (in Donegal) is Gort-na- 
tragJia, the field of the strand ; the latter (in Cork 
and Tyrone) Gort-a'-tsrae, the field of the mill race. 
Inchintrea near Cahersiveen in Kerry, is the river- 
holm of the mill-race; and Derrintray {Doire-an- 
tsrne, mill-race wood) is the name'ofa place near the 
village of Clonaslee in Queen's County. There is a 
townland near the city of Armagh, and another in 
the parish of Donaghmoyne in Monaghan, called 
Tray, in which t displaces s under the influence of 
the article — an tsrae, the mill race. 

Plank bridges. Among the various contrivances 
adopted for crossing rivers before stone bridges were 
introduced into this country, or before they came 
into general use, plank bridges deserve to be men- 
tioned : — timber planks were laid across the stream 
from bank to bank, if it were narrow enough, or 
supported on rests of natural rock or on artificial 
piers, if the river were wide. We know that bridges 
of this kind are occasionally found in use at the pre- 
sent day in various remote parts of the country — I 
know a place in the county Wicklow, where one is 
now in course of construction — and we have suffi- 
cient testimony both in history and in the names of 
places, that they were much used in old times. There 
was a plank bridge across the Shannon in the time of 
Brian Boru, near his palace of Kincora, that is, 

218 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

either at the very place where the bridge of Killaloe 
now stands, or near it. For we read in the "Wars 
of the Irish with the Danes," that, soon before the 
battle of Clontarf, when Maelmordha, king of Lein- 
ster, retired in anger from Kincora, a messenger 
from Brian followed him, and " overtook him at the 
end of the plank-bridge of Killaloe on the east side" 
(" / cind Clair Cilli Dalua:" p. 145). 

This ancient bridge is designated in the preceding 
passage by the word clar, which means literally " a 
plank ;" its name and meaning are still preserved in 
the name of the bishop's house at Killaloe — Claris- 
ford ; and there is no better example of how an 'old 
Irish name may be newly varnished up so as to efface 
every vestige of its age and origin. For Clarisford 
is only a pretty way of saying the ford of the clar or 
plank ; thougli I suppose there are few persons who 
suspect in the least how the name originated. 

It is probable indeed that many of these structures 
scarcely deserved the name of bridges, but should be 
rather designated plank fords or plank crossings, 
which is the very name they commonly go by in the 
Irish language ; for many of them even still retain 
names partly formed from the word clar, a board ; 
while the other part of the name often consists of 
one of the Irish words for a ford. Moreover the 
people in several of those places have a tradition that 
the names were derived from a plank bridge ; which 
we find to be the case for instance in the village of 
Clare on the river Fergus, and also in Clare Galway 
(see these places in First Series). 

A very good illustration of this class of names is 
Athclare near Dunleer in Louth — the ford of the 
plank ; which takes the form of Aghclare near 
Graiguenamanagh in Kilkenny ; and still another 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Worh. 211) 

form, Aclare, in Meath and Carlow. Another equally 
cliaracteristic name is Belclare (for which see First 
Series) ; Bealaclare, now the name of a bridge over 
the Leamawaddra river, at the head of Eoaring Water 
bay in Cork, two miles from the village of Bally- 
dehob, shows liow the river was crossed before the 
bridge was built — Bel-a^-c/ihiir, the ford of the board. 

There is a little village near Oranmore in Galway, 
now called Clarinbridge, but formerly Ath-cliath- 
Meadliraidhe [Aclee-Maaree], i. e, the Afh-ch'ath or 
hurdle ford of Maaree — this last being the name of 
the peninsula running into Galway bay west of the 
village. This was in old times a place of note, for 
it was the western terminus of the Esker Eiada, 
which separated the northern from the southern half 
of Ireland, the eastern terminus being the great Afh- 
cliath, or Dublin (see Esker E-iada in First Ser.) It 
is very probable that the original ford of hurdles gave 
place, in course of time, to a better crossing made of 
planks ; for while the old name is lost among the 
people, the village has been long called in Irish 
Broicheacl-ct! -cMairin [Drehid-a-clareen], the bridge 
of the clareen or little board, of which "Clarinbridge" 
is a sort of half translation. 

The existence of such a bridge at some remote 
time over the river Bride, half a mile above the little 
village of Ovens, west of Cork city, is proved by the 
name of the present bridge — Drehiduaglaragh, the 
bridge of the planks. " Clare Bridge" over the Clare 
river in the parish of Abington in Limerick, near the 
village of Newport, is now a good stone structure ; 
but both the present name, and the Irish, Droichead- 
a^-chlair, of which it is a translation, show that the 
original bridge was made of planks ; and from this 
old bridge the river itself derives its name. Augh- 

220 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

naglaur is the name of a bridge crossing a small 
stream flowing from the Blackstairs Mountains, in 
the parish of Killann in Wexford — Ath-na-gcldr, the 
ford of the planks. 

Fold. The word cro has several meanings, one of 
which is a hut, hovel, or small house ; and this is its 
most general sense when it is found in names, i. e. 
a hut, fold, or pen for cattle. The little building in 
Glendalough, now called St. Kevin's kitchen, is called 
in the annals Cro-Kevin, St. Kevin's hut. The most 
usual anglicised form of this word is seen in Culcrow 
in the parish of Agivey in Derry, near the Bann, the 
angle or corner of the cattle sheds ; and in Clasha- 
crow, the name of a parish in Kilkenny, Clais-a- 
chro, the trench of the shed. In Curraghacronaeon 
near Abbeyleis in Q-ueen's County, the first part 
curragJia, is the plural of curragli, a moor ; and the 
whole name fully written, is Curracha-cro-na-gcon, 
the moors of the hut of the hounds. 

Near Roscrea in Tipperary, there are two adjacent 
townlands called Barnagree and Pinto wn ; the former 
is understood to be £arr-na-gcroitke,the summit of the 
cattle-pens ; while the latter, Pintown, is a transla- 
tion, which is incorrect, however, in both members 
(j)in ioT pen; and town for ?'o;;),and should have been 
made Pentop, or something bearing the same signi- 
fication. There is a little islet in the south-west 
part of Lough Ennel in Westmeath, now called 
Croincha, and often Cormorant Island ; where 
Malachy II., king of Ireland, died in the year 1022, 
surrounded by the chief ecclesiastical dignitaries of 
the country. In the annals it is called (7ro-w?7"s, which 
means the island of the hut or pen ; and I suppose 
that the name Cormorant Island took its rise from 
the belief that cro was English crow, a bird — " Cor- 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 221 

morant Island" being intended as a sort of orna- 
mental translation of Cro-inis. 

Ovens. Bacits [baucoose] means an oven. It is 
given by O'Eeilly (in the form bacudhas) on the 
authority of Shaw's Graelio Dictionary ; but that it 
has been in use in Ireland we may consider as cer- 
tain, even though we had no other reason for con- 
cluding so than its existence in local names. It is 
obviously connected with the English word hake ; 
but whether it is an old Irish word, or is merely 
borrowed from English, I will not now undertake to 
determine. It is seldom much disguised in names, 
except only that the h is commonly clianged to v by 
aspiration. Its usual anglicised forms are seen in 
Grortavacoosh in the parish of Abington in Limerick ; 
Gort-a-hhaciiis, the field of the oven ; in Coolava- 
coose in the north of Kildare, near Edenderry {cuil, 
a corner) ; and in Parkavacoosh {pdirc, a field), now 
the name of an old fort near Lixnaw in Kerry. 

Near the village of Kilmacow, in the parish of 
Dunkitt in Kilkenny, there is a townland called 
Tinvacoosh, i. e. Tiyh-an-hhacuis, the house of the 
oven, or simply baking-house. In this place there 
lived one time, according to a local legend, a rich 
baker, who employed himself in cultivating a small 
garden round his house, whenever he was able to 
withdraw from the cares of his oven. One day, 
after placing a batch of loaves in the heated oven, he 
left them to bake, and went as usual to his garden. 
The day was very sultry, and the summer had been 
unusally dry ; so he filled a vessel with water from 
a clear well hard by, and began to sprinkle his 
flowers and vegetables, which were drooping for 
want of a little moisture. He had not been long em- 
ployed in this manner, when a stranger, a man 

222 Various Artificial Works. [chap. xiii. 

of grave and dignified appearance, walked up to him, 
and told him that his conduct was highly improper ; 
that he should not presume to interfere with the 
ordinary course of nature ; but that he should leave 
it entirely in the hands of Providence to regulate 
the distribution of drought and moisture. After 
administering this rebuke, he walked slowly away, 
and disappeared among the trees of a neighbouring 

While the baker stood pondering on the stranger's 
words, he bethought him that it was time to look 
after his loaves ; so he went to the oven and drew 
them forth ; but found them, not baked as he 
expected, but covered all over with ears of wheat, 
which had sprouted out in the oven, and appeared 
as green and flourishing as if they had grown natu- 
rally in tlie richest soil. This wonderful occurrence 
convinced him that the mysterious stranger was 
quite right ; and he resolved that he would never 
again venture to water his garden. 

The legend of the rich baker of Tinvacoosh shows 
the folly of the common practice of watering plants, 
which is plain enough indeed to many people with- 
out a miracle at all ; for is it not far pleasanter and 
wiser to sit at your ease on a hot summer day, and 
let the plants take their chance, than to go toiling in 
a garden with a heavy watering can in your hand ? 

[{tins. Sorn means a furnace, kiln, or oven. The 
word is often applied to a lime kiln ; and its presence 
in names indicates the spots where kilns were once 
in use. The anglicised forms are easily recognised : 
for they are generally identical, or nearly so, with the 
Irish ; as in Drumnasorn in the parish of Killaghtee 
in Donegal, and Aghnasurn on the north side of 
Lough Key in Boscommon, the ridge, and the field, 

CHAP, xiii.] Various Artificial Worlxs. 223 

of the kilns or furnaces. The word stands alone in 
the name of Soran near the village of Drumlish in 
Longford, and in Some, the name of a hill, fom' 
miles from Buncrana in Donegal ; and the s becomes 
aspirated in Drumhurrin, the name of a lake and 
townland in the parish of Templeport, in the north- 
west corner of Oavan, which means the ridge of the 

From teine [tinna] fire, and ael, lime, is derived 
teine-adl [tinned], the usual name for a lime-kiln, 
signifying literally " fire of lime." The word is used 
by the Four Masters when ih.&j record that Flaherty 
O'Brollaghan, abbot of the great monastery of Derry, 
and his clergy, erected a teine-aeil measuring seventy 
feet every way, in the j^ear 1163. Tinneel near 
Ross Carbery in Cork, and Tinneel near the village of 
Rosenallis in Queen's County, took their names from 
lime-kilns ; and we find the word also in Knockna- 
tinnyweel near Newport Mayo, and in Garryna- 
tinneel in Tipperary, near Killaloe, the hill and the 
garden of the lime -kiln. 

Prison. Carcair signifies a prison : it is of course 
the same as the Latin career, and is probably derived 
from it. This word has given names to various places 
throughout the four provinces, now called Carker and 
Corker ; but what kind of prisons they were, that 
have left their names on these places, or what their 
history, we have now no means of determining. In 
some parts of Leland, especially in Clare, the term 
is applied to a narrow pass between hills, which is 
only an extension of the original meaning — a narrow 
or confined pass like a prison ; and this may be 
its meaning in some of the preceding places. 

It was certainly understood in this sense in " The 
Corker Eoad," a steep and narrow pass, leading to 

224 Various Artificial Works [chap. xiii. 

the abbey of Corcomroe in the north of Clare, which 
is mentioned by the Four Masters, and called by 
them Carcair-na-gcleireach [Carkernagleragh] , the 
narrow pass of the clergy, a name by which it is still 
known. The clergy from whom the latter part of 
the name was derived were, no doubt, the monks of 
the great abbey of Corcomroe. The word carcair 
must have been applied in its original sense to Inish- 
corker, one of the numerous islands at the mouth of 
the river Fergus in Clare, whose name signifies the 
island of the prison. 

Sepulchre. Sahaltcnr is given in Cormac's Glos- 
sary as meaning " a graveyard of a plague, i. e. a 
great field in which the pagans used to bury ;" and 
Cormac derives it from the Latin sepultura. There 
is just one place in Ireland taking its name from this 
word, viz., the parish of Subulter near Kanturk in 

Port. The Irish word port has several meanings ; 
but of these there are only two which it is necessary to 
notice here, namely, 1. A bank or landing place, 
a harbour, port, or haven ; 2. A fortress or military 
station, a royal fort ; a chieftain's residence. The 
word is used in these two senses in both the an- 
cient and modern language ; and I will give one 
example of each application from old authorities. It 
stands for " landing-place" in a passage in Lebor-na- 
hUidhre (see Kilk. Arch. Jour., 1870-1, p. 390), in 
■whiGh. Ciichulllii relates: — "It was in that manner 
I swam the ocean until I was in the (purt) harbour ;" 
while in an ancient poem on the death of Malachy 
(king of Ireland), quoted by the Four Masters, at 
A. D. 1022, it is used as synonymous with dun, a 
fortress : — 

CHAP. XIV.] Various Artifickd Workfi. 225 

" Three hundred ports had the king in -which flesh and food were given; 
Guests from the king of the elements were in each dun of these." 

The compounds ceamiphort and hailcphort (canfort, 
balljfort), were also used to denote either a chief 
city or a chief residence. 

The word always bears one or the other of these 
two meanings in local names ; but it is often not 
easy to disting-uish between them. It may be stated 
generally, however, that when the spot whose name 
is wholly or partly formed from this term, is situated 
on the sea-shore or on a river or lake, the word has 
the former meaning ; otherwise«the latter. 

Port forms or begins the names of about 140 
townlands, parishes, and villages. Portadown must 
have taken its name from an earthen dun on the 
shore of the Bann : — Port-a-didn, the landing place 
of the fortress. There was once a remarkable castle 
belonging to the O'Maddens, on the bank of the 
Shannon, in the parish of Lorrha in Tipperary, 
north of Lough Derg, which is called by the Four 
Mastevs Porf-an-foIc/u(iu, the bank or landing-place 
of the little titlach or hill. In the Down Sur- 
vey the name is written Portolohane ; and it still 
survives in the much disguised form of Portland — 
now the name of a townland and residence. There 
is a place called Portcrusha on the Shannon, near 
Castleconnell, which the Four Masters, when re- 
cording the erection there, in 1506, of a wooden 
bridge, by one of the O'Briens, call Port-cjoisi, 
the landing place of the cross. 

In the eastern part of the county Clare, port is 
pronounced as if written joa^W [part], and this pro- 
nunciation is reflected in the names of some places 


226 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

on the Shannon, from Limerick to Killaloe, which 
are now called Parteen, a diminutive form signify- 
ing little landing-place. 

Fairy palace. Palas or j^ailis signifies a palace or 
royal residence, a loan word from the Latin (pala- 
tium). We have it pretty often reproduced in names, 
and it is always applied to a circular fort or lis ; but 
as modern stone castles sometimes came to be erected 
on or near the sites of the forts, the name naturally 
descended to them, though this is not the original 
application of the word. Moreover in later times, 
after the abandonment of the old lisses as residences 
by their human inhabitants, and since the fairies 
have taken possession of them, the word j;«//;"s is 
generally understood to mean a fairy palace or resi- 

There are between twenty and thirty townlands 
called Pallas, Palace, and Pallis, three anglicised 
forms of this word ; and all these places took their 
names from fairy forts or lisses. Pallaskenry in 
Limerick was so called as being situated in the old 
territory of Kenry or Caonraighe. In Sligo, the term 
is found in the form of Phaleesh, which is the name 
of a townland ; and in the end of names the p is 
occasionally changed to /by aspiration, as in Cappa- 
faulish in Kilkenny, the garden-plot of the fairy 

Monasteries. The Irish word, mainister, which 
signifies a monastery or abbey, is merely the Latin 
monasterium, borrowed, like several other ecclesias- 
tical terms. Many of the old abbeys to which the 
word was originally applied, still retain it in their 
names, and it is generally very little disguised by 
letter changes. 

Saint Eimhin or Evin founded a monastery on 

CHAP. XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 227 

the brink of the river Barrow, on a spot which 
before his time had been called Ros-gJas, green ros 
or wood ; but which took from him the name of 
Mainisfer-Eimhin — so written in all ancient authori- 
ties — Evin's monastery, now Monasterevin. He 
was a native of Munster, and was one of four bro- 
thers, all ecclesiastics, sons of Eoghan, who was 
eighth in descent from Olioll Olum, king of Munster 
in the third century. He lived in the beginning of 
the sixth century ; and he is believed to have been 
the writer of a Life of St. Patrick in a mixture of 
Irish and Latin, which is still extant, and which on 
account of its being divided into three parts, each 
having a proper introduction of its own, is now well 
known as the " Tripartite Life." 

Monasterboice in the county Louth, nearDrogh- 
eda, now so celebrated for its abbey ruins, its 
round tower, and its magnificent stone crosses, was 
founded by Buite or Boethius, bishop and abbot, 
who is believed to have been one of St. Patrick's 
disciples, and who died, according to the Annals of 
Ulster, in A. D. 522. This great establishment con- 
tinued to flourish for many ages afterwards ; and 
among its many remarkable men, was the celebrated 
historian and poet, Flann, or as he is commonly 
called, Flann of the Monastery, who died in 1056. 
The place is called in Irish authorities Mainister- 
Buithe ; but the th of the founder's name has been 
changed to c in the modern form, Monasterboice. 

In that part of the parish of Athleague lying west 
of the Shannon, in the county Gralway, there is 
a townland called " Monasternalea or Abbeygrey," 
of which the second name professes to be a transla- 
tion of the first, which it is not ; for the full Irish 
name is Mainister-na-liatha, the abbey of the grey 


228 Various Artificial Works, [chap. xiii. 

(friars). This terms occurs in several other names, 
and the forms are slighty varied : — Aghmanister is 
the name of a place in the parish of Abbeymahon, 
in the south of Cork, meaning the field (acJiadh) of 
the monastery ; Tullyminister in Cavan (t/ilach, a 
hill); Ballyministragh in the parish of Kilmood in 
Down, which in certain old documents is written 
Ballymonesteragh (Eeeves : Eccl. Ant. 198), the 
town of the monastery ; and Ballyminstra in An- 
trim, which is the same name. 

Head Residence. The word cerinannus, which has 
been long in use, is very satisfactorily explained 
by the i'our Masters, in a passage recording the 
foundation of Ceanannus, now Kells in Meath, in 
A.M. 3991. They state: — " It was by Fiacha Finnail- 
ches [king of Ireland] that Dun-cJiidie-Stbrinne, that 
is, Ceanannus, was erected;" and they go on to 
say that, wherever this king erected a habitation for 
himself, he called it by the name Ceanannus, which 
means head abode. From this it is obvious that the 
structure designated in the first instance by the 
name Ceanannus, was a dun or circular earthen fort 
in which the king resided. 

The Ceanannus now under notice continued to be 
a royal residence down to the sixth century, w^hen 
king Dermot Mac Kerval granted it to St. Colum- 
kille ; after which time it lost its pagan associations, 
and soon became a great ecclesiastical centre. The 
old pagan name Ceanannus was however retained as 
long as the Irish language was used : but by those who 
spoke English it was modified to Kenlis, which was 
considered an equivalent name, Kenlis meaning head 
lis or fort. The literal translation of this has given 
name to the demesne and mansion of Headfort, from 
which again the Marquis of Headfort has taken his 

CHAP, XIII.] Various Artificial Works. 229 

title. Kenlis was afterwards shortened to the pre- 
sent name, Kells. There is still an ancient earthen 
fort in the demesne of Headfort, which is believed 
to be the original royal residence that gave name to 
the place. 

From the passage of the Four Masters quoted 
above, we may infer that there were several places 
called Cennannus ; but I am aware of only one other 
place of the name in Ireland, and it has been simi- 
larly anglicised, namely, Ceanamms, now Kells, in 
the county Kilkenny. There are other places called 
Kells in Antrim, Clare, Kerry, and Limerick ; but 
these are all probably the anglicised plural of cill, 
namely, cealla [kella], signifying churches. 

There is a townland near Killarney called Head- 
fort, giving name to a railway station ; and another 
called Headford in the county of Leitrim ; but in 
both these cases the original Irish name is Lis-na- 
gceann, the fort of the heads ; leading to the pre- 
sumption that the places were once used for executing 
criminals. The name of Headford in Gralway has 
still a different origin. In the " Circuit of Murker- 
tagh Mac Neill," it is called Ath-mac-Cing, and in 
another ancient aiithoritj^ quoted by Hardiman in 
his edition of O'Flaherty's " lar Connaught" (p. 
371) Afh-mic-Cing, which signifies the ford of the 
son of Cing or Kinn. The present Irish name is a 
shortened form of this, viz., Ath-cinn ; and as cinn is 
the genitive of ceann, the head, the name was erro- 
neously believed to signify the ford of the head, and 
translated accordingly, Headford. 

230 The Sun. [chap. xiv. 



Our ancient annals relate that when the monarch 
Hugony the Great, who reigned three centuries 
before the Christian era, divided Ireland into twenty- 
five parts among his twenty-five children, '' he ex- 
acted oaths [from his subjects] by the sun and moon, 
the sea, the dew, and colours, and by all the ele- 
ments visible and invisible, and by every element 
which is in heaven and on earth, that the sove- 
reignty of Erin should be invested in his descendants 
for ever." And Tuathal the Acceptable, king of 
Ireland in the second century of the Christian era, 
exacted a similar oath, in imitation of his ancestor 

The monarch Laecjhalre [Leary], in wbose time 
St. Patrick came to Ireland, reigned from a. c 428 
to 458. In the ancient account of his death given 
in Leahhar na h TJidlire (the Book of the brown cow) 
it is related that there existed from old times a pro- 
phecy, that he would meet his death somewhere 
between Eire and Alha (Ireland and Scotland) ; and 
accordingl}^, although his father, Nial of the Nine 
Hostages, Dathi, and others of his predecessors, were 
celebrated for their naval expeditions, Laegha ire quite 
avoided the sea, and carried on his wars within the 
limits of the island. 

In the year 457 he invaded Leinster, in order to 
exact the oppressive tribute called the horumha 
[boru], claimed from that province by the kings of 
Ireland ; and the Leinstermen defeated him in a 

CHAP. XIV.] The Sim. 231 

battle fouglit at a place called Ath-dam (oak ford' 
on the river Barrow, and took him prisoner. The 
old account goes on to state, that they released him 
after he had sworn by the sun and moon, the water 
and air, day and night, sea and land, that he would 
never again demand the horumha. The very next 
year, however, he made an incursion into Leinster to 
enforce the tribute, and on his march from Tara, 
seized a prey of cows at Sidh-Neachtan [Shee-Nectan — 
the hill of Carbery at the source of the Boyne] ; but 
as soon as he had arrived at a place called GreUach 
Daphill (the marsh of the two steeds), by the side of 
Cassi, situated beticeen tioo hills called Eire and Alba, 
he was struck dead by the sun and wind for having 
violated his oath ; and in this manner the prophecy 
was fulfilled. 

These accounts show that the Irish, like most other 
ancient nations, observed natural objects and natural 
phenomena with attention, and regarded them with 
a certain degree of admiration and awe ; but they 
do not prove what some have asserted, that the peo- 
ple worshipped the elements. And in regard to sun 
worship in particular, which attracted so many en- 
thusiastic advocates in the last century, and which 
has not even yet quite lost its fascination, it is to be 
observed, that this ancient form of oath affords no 
more grounds for concluding that the Irish wor- 
shipped the sun, than that they worshipped the dew, 
the wind, or any other element. 

We have in fact no reason whatever to believe 
that the sun was ever worshipped in Ireland : it has 
been often asserted indeed, and supported with en- 
thusiastic earnestness ; but nothing deserving the 
name of an argument has been ever brought forward 

232 The Sun. [chap. xiv. 

to prove it. The round towers, wliich. were held to 
be the temples of the sun, are after all Christian 
buildings ; the cromlechs, "the altars on which the 
druids offered sacrifices to the great luminary," 
have tul^ned out to be nothing more than tombs. 
We have a native literature, chiefly in manuscript, 
most ancient and most extensive — a vast collection of 
history, genealogy, legend, and romance — in which 
the manners, customs, religious observances, and su- 
perstitions of the Irish both in Pagan and in early 
Christian times are minutely delineated ; we have 
numerous biographies— some in Irish, some in Latin — 
coming down to us from very ancient times, of the 
first preachers of Christianity in Ireland, in which 
we find descriptions of various pagan rites and su- 
perstitions, which these good men encountered in 
their progress through the country ; but no one has 
ever yet been able to find in all these writings, one 
sentence asserting that the people worshipped the 
sun, or an expression that could in the least justify 
any one in believing that sun worship ever pre- 
vailed in the country. 

There is yet another argument — the one which I 
am immediately concerned with here — viz. that many 
places throughout the country derive their names 
from the sun ; and this is supposed to indicate that 
the sun was worshipped at these spots. But this is 
as baseless an argument- as the others. There is 
nothing remarkable or mysterious in a place being 
named from the sun any more than from any other 
natural object. There is scarcely a class of objects, 
an element, or a phenomenon, in physical nature, as 
I have, I think, fully proved in this and the pre- 
ceding volume, from which places have not derived 

CHAP. XIV.] The Suji. 233 

names, and that in a manner, and for reasons, per- 
fectly natural and intelligible* We have names 
containing the word uisce, because the places were 
unusually watery ; high or exposed spots got names 
formed from gaefh, wind ; elevated mountain peaks 
or gorges, subject to thick mists, are described by 
the word ceo, a fog — and so on through all nature. 
Just in the same natural way, sunny spots, places on 
the south or south-west sides of hills, sheltered from 
cold winds and warmed by the sun's rays, were named 
from the sun. I know many spots of this kind, so 
named, all over the country : this is the explana- 
tion universally given by the most intelligent of the 
peasantry ; and it is fully borne out by the physical 
aspect of the localities. 

Whoever concludes on such testimony as this, that 
the sun was adored at a particular place, might with 
equal force of reasoning, infer that almost all objects, 
natural and artificial, were deified and worshipped. 
Besides, there is no more significance in such a name 
as Corrignagrena (sun-rock) than in Sunville, Sun- 
lawn, Sunnybank, Sunnyside, and many other like 
English names ; unless we are to believe that while 
English speaking people often gave descriptive names 
to sunny spots, those speaking Irish, for some strange 
reason, never did any such thing ; or that there is 
some mystery hidden away in the dim recesses of the 
Irish language that is not to be found in such a 
plain language as English. 

Grian [green] is the Irish word for the sun, and 
like the Grerman sonne, it is a feminine noun. Its ge- 
nitive is greiiie [greana], and this is the form that 

* See 1st Ser. Part IV. ; and Chaps, xiv. to xxii. of this 

234 The Sun. [chap. xiv. 

most commonly appears in names. In tlie parish of 
Monamolin in Wexford, there are two adjacent 
townlands called Monagreany, which represents the 
Irish Moin-na-greine, the bog of the sun or sunny 
bog ; Edenagrena near Inishkeen, a little to the 
west of Dundalk, is the eudan or hill-brow of the 
sun ; and Inchagreana in the parish of Kilfeacle 
near the town of Tipperary, is sunny island or 
river holm. 

In many anglicised names of this class, the word 
is shortened to one syllable ; as in Tullagreen near 
Carrigtohill in Cork, Tulacli-greine, the hill of the 
sun, and Curragrean near Oranmore in Gralway, 
with a like meaning [cor, a round hill). Sometimes 
the formation of the word indicates directly that the 
place received its name on account of its aspect with 
regard to the sun ; as we see in CooUegrean, the name 
of some places in Kerry, Leitrim, and Mayo — Cul- 
le-grein, literally " back to the sun." 

In the year 1785 Mr. Theophilus OTlanagan 
published (in the Trans. E.I. A.) an account of a 
remarkable monument — a sort of cromlech — situated 
on Callan mountain in Clare ; with a copy and trans- 
lation of an Ogham inscription on it, setting forth 
that a chieftain named Conan lay buried beneath the 
great flag. This monument is still to be seen, and 
Dr. Samuel Ferguson has, I think, shown con- 
clusively that the inscription is genuine.* But 
0' Flanagan went further than this: he forged an 
Iri^h quatrain and cited it as a part of an ancient 
poem called " The battle of Gabhra," to the effect 
that Conan (the well known Conan Mael of Irish 
romance) had gone before the battle to worship 

* See Proc. R. I. A. Vol. I., Ser II., p. 160. 

CHAP. XIV.] The Sun. 235 

the sun at Mount Callan, and that lie was slain 
and buried on the side of the mountain under a 
flag, in which his name was inscribed in Ogham.* 

Just under the brow of the mountain on which the 
monument is placed, there is a small lake in a hol- 
low, called Lough Boolynagreana — the booli/ or 
dairy place of the su.n ; and it received this name 
from two circumstances; 1. that at some former time, 
the people of the surrounding neighbourhood used to 
pasture their herds and flocks, and milk their cows 
and goats on its banks ; 2. that the whole valley in 
which it lies has a sunny southern aspect. It was, 
no doubt, the existence of this name that started 
in O'Flanagan's fertile brain the idea of inventing 
the stanza about Conan's sacrifice and death ; and 
for some years after the publication of his paper, 
it was generally considered that the Oallan monument 
aff"orded conclusive proof of the prevalence of sun 
worship in ancient Ireland. 

The name Buaile-na-grcine is not confined to Cal- 
lan mountain ; we find it in the parish of Kilcumre- 
ragh in Westmeath, where, however, the hoolij is 
corrupted to halh/, and the full name is represented 
by Ballynagrenia. There are names similar to this 
last in other parts of Ireland, but they are somewhat 
difi'erently derived. Ballynagrena near Dunleer in 
Louth, signifies the sunny bally or townland, and it 
is correctly translated Suntowu in the name of a re- 
sidence : Ballygreany in the parish of Duneany, 
about three miles from the town of Kildare, has the 
same meaning ; but in Ballygreany in the parish 
of Clontibret in Monaghan, the halh/ represents 
healach, a pass : — the sunny pass or road. 

*See O'Donovan's Irish Gram., Introd. xlvii. 

236 The Sim. [chap, xiv. 

The word griaii in local names sometimes comme- 
morates, not the sun, but a woman ; for though pri- 
marily meaning the sun, it was anciently (being a 
feminine noun ; p. 233) a favourite female name, 
applied of course in the sense of brightness and beauty. 
Kilgreana near Gralbally in Limerick, is understood 
by the people to mean Grrian's church ; but there are 
other places in Carlow, M.a,jo, and Waterford, with 
this name, in the slightly varying forms of Kilgreany 
and Kilgraney in which probably the first syllable 
rejoresents colli ; the whole meaning sunny wood. 

The most interesting example of the occurrence 
of this word in local nomenclature as a woman's 
name, is Knockgrean, a hill rising over the village 
of Pallas- Grrean in the county Limerick. The lady 
" Grian of the bright cheeks," from whom this place 
was named, was an enchantress ; and the hill, which 
before her time was called Cnoc-na-gcuradh [Knock- 
nagurra], the hill of the champions (see p. 102), 
was her favourite haunt. 

Five young champions, the sons of Conall, came 
one time to attack the sidh [shee] or fairy mansion 
of Grrian's father, Firae ; and they destroyed the 
sidh, and slew besides, one of Grian's young hand- 
maids. But they paid dearly for this cruel deed ; 
for the vengeful sorceress overtook them on their 
return, and transformed them all into badgers. 

When Conall heard of the fate of his five sons, he 
set out immediately, bent on vengeance, to seek for 
the enchantress ; and when he arrived at Knockna- 
gurra, he found her asleep on the hill. She started 
up as he approached, and a contest took place be- 
tween them, in which Conall nearly succeeded in 
killing her. When she found herself worsted in the 
fight, she planned a stratagem to bring him within 

CHAP. XIV.] The 8ii)i. 237 

the power of her sorcery ; and she said, pretending 
to recognise him then for the first time, "Is it thou, 
Conall ? " Conall answered " It is I." " Come 
near me," said she, " that I may give thee a bles- 
sing." So Conall came close to her, and she imme- 
diately shook ashes on him. He retired at once from 
her presence, but the withering spell of the ashes over- 
came him ; and when he had come to a certain mound 
he died there, so that the mound was named from 
him, Carn Conaill. 

Grian had no better fortune ; for no sooner had 
Conall left her than she lay down and died of her 
wounds. And ever since, the hill has borne the 
name of Cnoc-Greine or Knockgrean, in memory of 
the enchantress, Grian of the bright cheeks. About 
a quarter of a mile from the village of Pallas- Grean, 
which lies at the foot of the hill, there is a large fort, 
now called the moat of Pallas ; this is the origi- 
nal sidh or fairy mansion of Firae and his daugh- 
ter : and from it the village took its name : — Pallas- 
Grean, i. e. the fairy -palace of the lady Grian (see 
page 226). There is also an ancient fort on the top 
of the hill, which now goes by the name of Seefin 
(see 1st Ser. Part II., c. i.); and this was no doubt 
Grian's own residence. 

The enchantress Grian has been long forgotten in 
the neighbourhood ; and the name of the place is 
now supposed to be derived directly from the sun. 
Accordingly the townland lying adjacent to the 
village on the west side, is called Sunglen ; and 
near the village of " Pallas-Grean New," at the 
Pallas station of the Waterford and Limerick rail- 
way, is the townland and residence of Sunville ; 
both named under the erroneous impression that 
Knockgrean meant the hill of the sun. 

238 The Sun. [chap. xiv. 

But to return to the badgers. After their trans- 
formation, they betook themselves to the nearest 
badger warren, and lived in all respects just like 
the general run of badgers. Many years after this, 
it happened that Cormac, who was afterwards called 
Cormac Gaileng, made a great feast for his father 
Tadg [Teig], at a place called Breslech; and he 
succeeded in procuring one hundred of every four- 
footed beast for this feast, except badgers only. 
Now the want of badgers seems to have sorely 
troubled the heart of his father ; for we read in the 
ancient legend, that he called his son into his pre- 
sence, and commanded him to go forth and pro- 
cure a supply of these animals for the feast. 

Cormac set out in obedience to his father's 
directions ; and before he had gone far, he met 
Odran the druid, the son of the charioteer Laidir. 
" What dost thou seek ? " said Odran. " I am seek- 
ing for badgers for my father's feast," answered 
Cormac ; " tell me, I pray thee, are there any to be 
procured." " It has been foretold," answered Odran, 
"that I should procure badgers for thee, and I know 
that now the time is come when the prophecy is to 
be fulfilled. In former days," he continued, " the 
sorceress, Orian of the bright cheeks, threw her magic 
spells on the young warriors who had destroyed her 
father's mansion, and transformed them into badgers; 
and these I will procure for thee to bring to thy 
father's feast." 

So Cormac and the druid went to the fortress of 
the badgers, and called on them to come forth at 
once ; but the badgers, who still retained some vestiges 
of their human intelligence, flatly refused to do any 
such thing. 

The wily druid, however, devised a cunning stra- 

CHAP. XIV.] The Shu. 239 

tagem to draw them forth ; and he said to Cormae, 
" They will never come out on thy protection, for 
they distrust thee ; but give them the guarantee of 
thy father's spear, and they will no longer hesitate." 
Cormae then went back, and brought the spear with- 
out his father's knowledge ; and he came to the 
mouth of the badger-fortress, and solemnly guaran- 
teed their safety on the honour of the spear. Now 
the badgers knew quite well that no one had ever 
dared to question the honour of Tadg's spear ; so they 
foolishly came out in a body without further parley ; 
and no sooner did they show themselves, than Cor- 
mae and the druid fell on them and made short work 
of them. 

When the feast came on, Tadg felt in his heart an 
unaccountable loathing at sight of the badgers ; and 
no wonder indeed, seeing that these same badgers 
were his own near cousins ; for both he and they 
were the great-grandchildren of Owen More, that 
renowned king of Munster, who forced Conn of 
the hundred battles to divide Ireland with him. 
And when he heard in what a treacherous manner 
Cormae had slain the badgers, and how he had vio- 
lated the honour of his spear, he was filled with 
anger and indignation, and he immediately expelled 
the young man from his house. Cormae fled to 
Connaught, where he obtained a large territory for 
himself and his descendants ; but after this event he 
was known by the reproachful name of Cormae 
Gaileng, or Cormae of the dishonoured spear.* 

* Gae, a spoar ; lang, deceit. An abstract of this ancient 
legend is given in Cormac's Glossary, voce, Gaileng. It is given 
fully in the MS. H. 3, 18, T. C. D. ; from which it has been pub- 
lished with a translation, by Dr. Whitley Stokes, in his " Three 
Irish Glosses," p. xlii. Tlae barony of Gallen in Mayo derived 

240 , The Atmosphere. [chap. xv. 



Wind. Places in a high or bleak situation, or 
otherwise exposed to the wind, are often designated 
by the word gaeth [gwee, or gee] which is the Irish 
word for wind. It occurs in the end of names in the 
genitive gaeithe [geeha] which is correctly repre- 
sented by the anglicised forms geelta, geehy, though 
it is often reduced to the single syllable gee — all easily 

Dungeeha is the name of a place near Newcastle 
in Limerick, which took the name from an old fort : — 
Dun-gaeithe, the fortress of the wind ; Drumnagee in 
the parish of Ballintoy in Antrim, east of Bushmills, 
the hill-ridge of the wind ; TuUynagee in Down and 
Derry, windy hill ; Latgee in the parish of Errigle 
Trough, Monaghan, the lagJtt or sepulchral mound 
of the wind. Elevated bleak mountain passes very 
often get the name of Barnageehy or Barnanageehy 
the harna or gap of the wind ; which is frequently 
translated into the English names Windgap and 
Windgate. I know of only one place in all Ireland 
where a windmill is expressly commemorated in a 
name, viz., MuUingee near Granard in Longford : — 
MiiUeann-gaeithe, the mill of the wind, i. e. wind- 

In Meath and some of the adjoining counties, the 

its name from Cormac Gailemj^ and for this, and for a historical 
account of the various personages mentioned in the legend, see 
1st Ser. Part 11., c. ii. For other place-names derived from 
Grian, as a woman's name, see Lougli Graney and Granny's bed 
in 1st Series. 

CHAP. XV.] The Atmosphere. 241 

final th is often retained in the modernized names, 
and fully pronounced ; as in Mulgeeth, two miles 
south of Johnstown in the north of Kildare, the hill 
{mul) of the wind. 

The diminutive gaethan [geehan, geehaun] is used 
to denote a breeze : we find it in Ardgeehan near 
Portaferry in Down, and in Ardgehane, which occurs 
twice near the south coast of Cork, the height of the 

Oaeth is sometimes applied to an arm of the 
sea ; of which examples will be found in the next 

Seidedn [shedawn] signifies puffing or blowing (a 
diminutive of seid, to bloAv) ; as in the term sneachta- 
seideain [snaghtashedawn, snow of the wind] applied 
in some parts of Ireland to dry snow raised from 
the ground, and blown about by gusts of wind. It 
occurs in local names to designate breezy places, or 
places which are considered subject to violent windy 
puffs or gusts. In the parish of Taghsheenod in 
Longford, three miles from Ardagh, there is a town- 
land taking its name from a little lake called Lough- 
sheedan, the lake of the blowing or blasts ; Seden- 
rath near Kells in Meath, gusty rath or fort, an 
attempted translation of Rafh-seideain ; Kuocksedan, 
two miles west of Swords in Dublin, where there is a 
very beautiful ancient flat-topped fort, the hill of the 

This word, however, more commonly begins with 
B,t in anglicised names, the s being eclipsed by the 
intervention of the article (1st Ser. Part I., c. ii.) as 
in Lough Atedaun, a lake near Corofin in Clare, 
Zioch-a'-fseidedii, the lake of the breeze; Lackante- 
dane near the town of Tipperary {leac, a fiag-stone); 
Ardatedaun in the parish of Kiltallagh, about three 


242 The Atmosphere. [chap. xv. 

miles from Miltown in Kerry, the height of the 

On some parts of the sea coast, the term is used 
to designate rocks or caves or holes that shoot up 
jets or columns of water in time of storm ; as in case 
of the well-known puffing holes on the coast of Clare, 
which are called in Irish Poulatedaun (i. e. Foll-cC- 
tseidedin), the hole of the puffing. 

The diminutive in og is also frequently met with ; 
as in Oarrickashedoge in the parish of Magheracloone 
in Monaghan, the rock of the hreeze ; Eashedoge 
near Letterkenny in Donegal, the rath of the blast 
or gust. And sometimes we meet with the word 
seid with only an adjectival termination ; as in Agh- 
nasedagh, the name of a little lake, and also of a 
townland, near the town of Monaghan, the field 
{achadh) of the wind gusts. 

The word holff or builg [bullig] in the sense of 
" bellows," is applied much in the same way as the 
last term, to designate gusts or blasts or gusty spots ; 
of which an excellent example is the townland of 
Bulligs between Killashandra and Ballyconnell in 
Cavan, i. e. a bellows or a gusty spot. But this word 
occurs generally on the coast, where it is applied like 
seidedn, to puffing holes, to rocks or points, that break 
and spout up water during storms ; and it is com- 
monly anglicised Bullig, which is a name constantly 
met with all along the western coast from Donegal 
to Cork. The little peninsula lying on the west side 
of the bay of Adrigole, west of Glengarriff in Cork, 
is called Reenabulliga, the rca or mountain flat (or 
perhaps the recm or point) of the bellows or breakers. 

Storm.. Gamh [gov] denotes winter; it is also 
applied to a cold wintry storm ; and thence to places 
exposed to bleak cold winds. Drumguff" near New- 

CHAP. XV.] The Atmoqjhere. 243 

bliss in Monaghan, signifies the dvum or hill-ridge of 
the storm ; the same name as Drumguiff and Drum- 
gamj^h in Fermanagh, and Drumgoff over Glenma- 
lure in Wicklow. 

The word 8m [sheen] also denotes a storm, and is 
applied topographically, like the last word, to high 
stormy places. Drumsheen, the ridge of storms, is 
the name of a place in the parish of Kilgarvan, 
Mayo ; Cloonsheen in the parish of Kilconla in Gral- 
way, exposed or stormy meadow. Another word for 
a storm is ainbhtheth or anfath, which often occurs in 
Irish writings. The name of the peninsula lying 
between the bays of Bertraghboy and Kilkieran in 
Connemara, is Irrus-ainhagh, i. e. the stormy iyrus 
or peninsula ; and the same term has given name to 
Leckanvy — the flag-stone of the storm — a little ham- 
let in a wild exposed situation, on the shore of Clew 
bay, near the base of Croagh Patrick, two miles west 
of Murrisk abbey. 

Shelter. As places have been designated from 
their exposed or stormy situations, so also we find 
that some spots have received names indicating the 
very reverse — a position sheltered by trees, rocks, or 
hills. About half a mile south of Ardpatrick in 
Limerick, there is a narrow road shut in by a high 
fence on each side, protecting it from the west wind, 
which is called by the expressive name of Bohereen- 
acluher, the hohereen or little road of the shelter. 
This word chithar [cluhar], shelter, is found in other 
names; for example Dromcluher in the parish of 
Tuogh in Limerick, sheltered ridge ; and Derryclure 
near Geashill in King's County, sheltered derrij or 
oak grove. In the peninsula between Griandore har- 
bour and Castlehaven in the south of Cork, there is 
a small lake called Lough Cluhir, sheltered lake. 


244 The Atmosphere. [chap. xv. 

Kilclolier {hil, cliurcli or wood) is the name of a town- 
land four miles east of Cappoquin in Waterford ; 
there is another place of the same name four miles 
south-west from Ennis in Clare, from which Snug- 
ville, the name of a residence has been derived. 

In some cases the word cluthar comes in where you 
would least expect to find it, namely, in extremely 
exposed situations ; of which a good example is Kil- 
cloher on the shore of the Shannon mouth, near 
Loop Head in Clare ; hut in cases of this kind, I 
suppose that an artificial shelter was constructed, 
or a rock, or an abrupt elevation was taken ad- 
vantage of, to counteract the bleakness of the si- 
tuation. Perhaps in the present instance the kil 
was a wood, which received a name to express the 
shelter it afforded in so bleak a situation. 

Snow. In most mountainous countries there are 
particular peaks that receive their names from the 
circumstance that they retain snow on their sum- 
mits during the whole or a considerable part of the 
year. In such a country as Ireland, with a mild 
climate and no very high mountains, names of this 
kind could scarcely be expected. Yet we have a 
few hills whose names are partly formed from the 
word sneaght [snaght] snow, a word cognate with 
Latin nix., and with English snow; and althougli 
some of them are not distinguished for height, they 
must in some way retain snow in winter so much 
longer than the surrounding elevations, as to attract 
the attention of the people. 

There are two mountains in Donegal, called Slieve 
Snaght, one near Carndonagh in the peninsula of 
Inishoweu, and the other a little south of Errigle 
mountain ; the Irish form of the name is Sliabh- 
snechta, which Colgan translates mons-nivium, the 

CHAP. XV.] The Atmosphere. 245 

mountain of the snows. The people say that the 
snow usually remains on the summit of the Inish- 
owen Slieve Snaght, up to the May fair of the 
neighbouring village of Carndonagh. The Book of 
Dniim-snechta (the hill-ridge of the snow) was one 
of the ancient historical books of Ireland, often 
quoted by Irish historians, but it is not now known 
to exist. The only place now bearing this name 
is Drumsnat in Monaghan (which has dropped the 
guttural) ; and as an ancient monastery existed 
there, founded by St. Molua of Clonfert-Molua, it is 
probable that this is the place where the book was 

Near Fivemiletown in Fermanagh, there is a town- 
land called Moysnaght, the plain of the snow ; and 
there is another place of the same name in the parish 
of Clontibret in Monaghan. Cloonsnaghta (snow- 
meadow) is the name of a townland containing a 
lake of the same name, two miles west of Killadj^sert 
in Clare, and of another in the parish of Moygaw- 
nagh in Mayo. 

When the article is used, the s is commonly eclipsed 
by t, and this is followed by a further change of n to 
r, to facilitate the pronunciation. Altatraght in the 
parish of Kilteevoge in Donegal, a little west of 
Stranorlar, represents the Irish Alt-cC-tsneaghfa, the 
height of the snow — Altatraght for Altatnaght, like 
crock for knock, Ardatrave for Ardatnave (see these 
in 1st Ser.) Precisely the same change occurs in 
Legatraghta in the parish of Templeport in Cavan, 
south-west of Swanlinbar, the snowy lug or hollow — • 
the lug lying on the northern slope of a hill ; the 
same name as Lugasnaghta in the parish of Cloon- 
clare in the north of Leitrim. The additional change 
of the suppression of the guttural, is seen in Tullin- 

246 The Atmosphere. [chap. xv. 

trat near Castleblaney in Monaghan, the liill {tut) of 
the snow. 

Cold. Fiiar or uar, signifying cold, is found as 
part of a great many names : the places so designated 
having probably an exposed or northern aspect, or 
perhaps a marshy cold soil ; and it is often applied 
to the water of springs, rivers, or lakes, which are 
considered to be unusually cold (see Oranmore, 1st 
Ser.) About a mile south of Elphin in E-oscommon, 
there is a stream called Owenure {Abhainn-fhuar, cold 
river), which is mentioned in Hy Many by the equi- 
valent name, Glaisi-uair, cold stream. The station 
next beyond Killarney towards Tralee, on the South- 
ern and Western railway, is called Farranfore, 
Fearann-fuar, cold land ; there is a lake in the parish 
of Annaghdown in Galway, a little east of Lough 
Corrib, called Lough Afoor, i. e. cold lake. 

When the back of a hill had a northern aspect, it 
was often called Coolfore, cold back, which is the 
name of places in the counties of Louth, Meath, 
Monaghan, and Dublin. This element, /ore either as 
it stands, or with slight variations of spelling, is very 
often found in names, and may almost always be in- 
terpreted in the sense here given. Slievefoore, cold 
mountain, is the name of a hill in the parish of 
Killaliurler in Wicklow, about two miles from the 
Wooden Bridge hotel ; and there is a townland called 
Derryfore, cold derry or oak-grove, near Ballyroan 
in Queen's County. 

The word often precedes the noun that it qualifies, 
as in Fourknocks in the parish of Stamulliu in Meath, 
west of Balbriggan, which means cold knocks or 
hills ; Forelacka near Kinnitty in King's County, cold 
flags or hill-slope. The compound Fuar-choiU, cold 
wood, is of frequent occurrence : it is made Foorkill 

CHAP. XV.] The Atmosphere. 247 

in Galway, Forekill near Urlingford in Kilkenny, 
Fourcuil in Cork, and Forkillin Meatk and Armagh. 
In the parish of Clooney in Clare is the village of 
Spancelhill, well known for its fairs. The correct 
Irish name is Cnoc-fuarchoilli [Knock- foorkilla], 
the hill of the cold wood, for so the Four Masters 
call it, when recording a battle fought there in 1559, 
between the rival earls of Ormond and Desmond. 
In the colloquial language however, the / is aspi- 
rated and omitted, which reduces it to Cnoc-urchaill 
[Knockoorkill] ; and as urchall or aurchomhal is a 
spancel, the name came to be erroneously translated 
Spancelhill instead Coldwoodhill. 

Shower. The word ceath or ceatha [cah, caha] 
signifies a shower. The Caha mountains in the 
peninsula between the bays of Kenmare and Ban- 
try, must have been considered specially liable to 
rain when they got the name, which is reduced 
from the present popular Irish name, Cnoc-na-ceath- 
aln [Knocknacahin], the showery mountain. This 
word probably gives name also to Dromcahan near 
Kenmare, Druim-ceatJiain, the ridge of the shower. 

Fog. A fog or mist is denoted by the word ceo 
[keo : the o long ; the e hardly pronounced], which 
enters into some names, chiefly in the south of Ire- 
land. According to a passage in the life of bishop 
Mel, there was an ancient nunnery called Druim-cheo, 
immediately to the west of Slieve Golry near Ardagh 
in Longford ; but both the nunnery and its name 
are now forgotten. The name Bniim-cheo (the ridge 
of the fog) must have been originally applied to the 
hill west of Slieve Grolry, whence it was transferred 
to the nunnery. Why this hill received such a 
name is obvious ; for as it is an isolated elevation 
the mill st of a plain, it catolies the vapour and is 

248 The Sea, . [chap. xvi. 

often capped with fog, when the surrounding level 
country is clear ; and some such explanation applies 
to every name containing the word ceo. Knocka- 
cheo, the foggy hill, is the name of a place in the 
parish of Ballynoe in Cork ; Loughakeo, the lake of 
the mist, near Stradbally in Queen's County ; Cron- 
cheo, four miles north-west of Killybegs in Donegal, 
the cro or valley of the fog ; and Coomakeoge in 
the parish of Killemlagh, near Yalentia in Kerry, 
the coom or valley of the mist ; in which name the 
genitive is made ceoig, land the final g pronounced, 
as is usual in Cork and Kerry. 



I Kow come to a class of names, which are generally 
speaking to be looked for only round the coast ; 
though in consequence of secondary applications, or 
extensions of meaning, they are sometimes found 

The most common Irish word for the sea is muir, 
genitive mara ; and this name for the sea exists, with 
slight modifications, in every Aryan language of 
Europe except Greek: — Lat. mare; Goth. Viurei ; 
A. Sax. mere; Welsh myr ; Corn. ?;^o/', &c. ; while 
it is represented in Sanscrit by mira (Pictet, Grig.) 
The word has already incidentally come under no- 
tice, as forming part of several names which have 
been dealt with in the First Series (see Kenmare, 
Connemara, &c.) As a part of compound words, it 
also enters pretty extensively into names, of which 
the following may be taken as examples. A small 

CHAP. XVI.] The Sea. 249 

bay is often called murhJioJg [murvullog, murlog], 
i. e. sea-bellj, from boJg, a sack or belly ; and this 
word is generally anglicised Murlougb, wbicli is the 
name of several inlets mostly round the coast ; among 
others, of the little bay lying east of Fair Head in 
Antrim ; and of two in Donegal, one in Lougk 
Swilly, and the other near Lifford. The bay ex- 
tending eastwards from Bengore Head till it ter- 
minates in White Park bay, was anciently called 
MiirhhoJg ; but the people have lost this name. 
Lough Murree, a small lake in a peninsula, two miles 
north-east of Ballyvaghan in Clare, signifies marine 
lake, so called from being on the very verge of the 

Five miles west from Ballysadare in Sligo, on 
one of the inlets of Ballysadare bay, is Tanrego, a 
name which is exactly similar in formation to Ton- 
regee (First Series), and exhibits another term {go), 
but one very seldom used, for the sea : — Irish Toin- 
re-go, backside to the sea. 

Sal, sail, or sdlle [saul, sauliaj, which is a term in 
somewhat more common use than muir, signifies 
brine, salt water, or brackish water ; cognate with 
Latin sal, English salt. The pretty hamlet and 
vale of Salrock, near the mouth of the Killeries in 
Connemara, takes its name from the little inlet, now 
called Little Killery bay, at the head of which it is 
situated ; the name signifies St. Roc's briny inlet ; 
but we have no written account of this saint, though 
he is vividly remembered in the traditions of the 
place, and the ruins of his church and his holy well 
are situated near the hamlet. The word in its sim- 
ple form gives name to Salia, a little hamlet on the 
eastern side of Achill Island, from which the inlet 
called Salia bay takes its name. 

250 The Sea. [chap. xvi. 

Kylesalia, west of Kilkieran bay in Connemara, 
signifies the wood of the sea- water. There is a small 
river running into Wexford Haven, at the hamlet 
of Killinick, five miles south of Wexford town, over 
which there was anciently a ford, now bridged, 
just where the tide and river met ; from which it 
got the name of Ath-saile, the ford of the brine, now 
modernised to Assaly. In the parish of Kilcummin, 
Gralway, south-west of Oughterard, there is a place 
with the long name, Muckanaghederdauhalia, which 
is a concise description of both the position of the 
place, and of its former use : — Muckanagh, a place 
where mucs or pigs used to sleep or feed ; eder, be- 
tween ; da7(, two ; halle, the same as saiie, with the s 
aspirated : — the piggery between two briny inlets. 

The diminutive Saleen was applied to any small 
estuary or creek, and in this sense it is still the 
name of several places. The word has other mean- 
ings, however ; but on the coast there can be no difii- 
culty in determining when it signifies an inlet. 

The original term often occurs with the s eclipsed 
by t. Just before the train from Dublin reaches 
the Galway station, it crosses over the narrow neck 
of an inlet called Lough Atalia, in Irish Loch-n -tsa He, 
the lake of the brine : there is another brackish lake 
of the same name in the peninsula north of Omey 
Island, off the coast of Gralway ; and still another — 
a small pool near Midleton in Cork, just where the 
Ballynacorra river enters the tideway of the Lee. 
The same change is seen in Bellataleen, a townland 
lying adjacent to Murrisk Abbey at the foot of 
Croagh Patrick in Mayo, Bel-a'-tmillny the ford of the 
little briny inlet, which obviously took its name from 
the little salt water strand on the right of the road 
as you approach the old abbey from Westport. 

CHAP. XVI.] The Sea. 251 

In Irish writings many references are made to 
what are called the three Toiins or waves of Ireland ; 
and they are much celebrated in ancient tales and 
romances. These were Toiiii Clcena in Grlandore 
harbour (for which see 1st Ser., Part II., c. v.) ; 
Tonn Tiiaithe (Tooha) near the mouth of the Bann ; 
and Tonn Rudhmidhe [Rury] in Dundi-um bay off 
the county of Down. In stormy weather, when the 
wind blows in certain directions, the sea at these 
places, as it tumbles over the sandbanks, or among 
the caves and fissures of the rocks, utters an un- 
usually loud and solemn roar, which excited the 
imagination of our ancestors ; and they believed 
that these sounds had a supernatural origin, and 
foreboded the approaching death of kings or chief- 

These names have been long since forgotten by 
the people ; but many local denominations still sur- 
vive, which contain the word ionn. Outside the 
mouth of Lough Foyle, there is a large and dan- 
gerous sandbank called the Tuns, on which many 
vessels have been wrecked: — "Before the mouth of 
this lough lyeth a great sand called the Touns, 
upon which it burneth greatly when the wind 
bloweth from tlie sea." (Boate's Nat. Hist, of Ire- 
land.) This is the most characteristic application in 
all Ireland of the word tonu, for here the "Tuns" 
most truly means the waves or billows. This term 
gives names to places by rivers and lakes as 
well as by the sea : and in many cases the t is 
changed to d by eclipse. There is a lake in the 
parish of Moyrus in Connemara, called Loughan- 
nadown, i. e. Locl\an-na-dtonn, the little lake of the 
waves ; so called, I suppose, from being very much 
exposed to the wind, and subject therefore to high 
waves. Near Knocklong in Limerick, there ar-^ 

252 The 8ea. [chap. xvi. 

four adjoining townlands called Mitchelstowndown 
of which the proper Irish name is Baile-Mkistealaigh- 
na-dtonn [Ballyvistela-ua-down] ; the first part sig- 
nifies the town of Mitchell, and this has been trans- 
lated, while the last part has been left untouched. 
The whole name means " the town of Mitchell of 
the waves." The epithet jia-dionn, " of the waves," 
may belong to the place, as it is situated on the 
Morning Star river ; and in this case the inference 
would be that it was so called to distinguish it from 
Mitohelstown in the county Cork, not very far off: 
but I think this unlikely. Or it may be that 
the person who left his name on the place was 
called " Mitchell of the waves," because he was a 
sailor or a voyager. 

On the western shore of Lough Swilly in the 
parish of Clondavaddog, Donegal, there is a little 
hamlet called Buunaton, the bun or end of the 
wave — a name which probably was originally ap- 
plied to the highest point reached by the surge in 
the little bay. A varied form of the genitive is 
seen in Derrintin, the name of a small lake and 
townland near the Erriff river, four miles above 
Leenane at the head of the Killeries ; Doire-an-tuinn, 
the oak-wood of the wave. 

In the last name the word is used in the masculine. 
But it is more generally feminine, with the genitive 
tuinne, a form which is found in one very interesting- 
name. According to our fabulous histories and ro- 
mances, Fintan, one of the three men who came to Ire- 
land with the lady Casara, /br;';^/ days before the flood, 
died just before the beginning of the great catastrophe, 
and was buried in Fert-Fintain (Fintan's grave), 
otherwise called TuUuinne [Tultinna]. But it seems 
that he only pretended to die, or that he merely fell 
into a trance ; for according to a legend in the Lehor 

CHAP. XVI.] The Sea. 253 

iia hUidhre, lie survived the deluge, and lived for 
many generations afterwards. He was transformed 
from time to time into the shapes of various animals, 
till at length he became a salmon ; and finally made his 
appearance as a man in the reign of Fergus Ma cKerval, 
king of Ireland in the sixth century. Most people who 
undergo transmigration lose all memory of previous 
states of existence ; but it was not so with Fintan ; for 
he remembered clearly every important event that had 
taken place in Ireland for two thousand years, since 
the time of the lady Casara ; so that he was consi- 
dered — no wonder he should be — the greatest sage 
that ever appeared in the country. Before he died 
for the last time, he gave a long account of the his- 
tory of Ireland to St. Finnian of Movilla. 

The place where he took his long sleep while the 
deluge was tumbling over his head, is still well 
known ; and the name Tiilfuinne swcviYes, but slightly 
altered to Tountinna (change of / to n). Tountinna 
is a hill near Derrycastle, rising over Lough Derg, 
two miles north-east of Killaloe, on the top of which 
was Fintan's grave ; and it is well described by the 
name Tnltuinne: — fill, a hill — TnJ-tuinne, the hill' of 
the wave — the hill rising over the wave of Lough 

There is a townland containing the ruins of a 
castle, called Townlough, on the verge of the lake, 
near the base of the hill ; and it seems likely that 
the name has some indirect connexion with that of 
the hill ; for the Irish form is TonnlocJia, the wave of 
the lake, though by a local extension of meaning, 
the word tonn is, in this instance, understood by the 
people to mean, not exactly a wave, but a watery 
place or a quagmire. 

- * See O'Doiiovan ; Four Mast. I. 4, note . 

254 The Sea. [chap. xvi. 

Thoiigli there are other Irish words for the sea, 
none of them enter into names except in a few soli- 
tary unimportant cases. But we have many terms 
for all the various kinds of sea inlets ; and the rest 
of this chapter will be devoted to them and to the 
names derived from them. 

The most general word for a harbour or haven is 
ciian, and it is still employed everywhere round the 
coast. The old name of Strangford Lough, which 
was used till very lately, was Lough Cuan, harbour 
lake ; and " Castlehaven," the name of a well known 
harbour on the south coast of Cork, is a translation of 
the Irish name, as the Four Masters write it — Cuan- 
an-chaialein. There is a remarkable sea cave a little 
west of the Griant's Causeway, called Portcoon, which 
signifies the port or landing place of the harbour. 

The word cuan is also used in an extended sense to 
signify any curve or winding ; and whether in any 
particular case it is so used, or bears the meaning of 
harbour, is easily determined. Accordingly the dimi- 
nutives Cooneen and Coonoge are found inland as 
well as on shore, in rivers and lakes as well as at the 
sea ; Coonane, another diminutive, is the name of a 
townland about a mile and a half north of Grlengar- 
riff in Cork. There are two townlands, one in Tip- 
perary, and the other in Wicklow, called Ooonmore, 
great winding. The simple word gives name to 
some places in Wicklow and Kilkenny, now called 
Coan, and also to a townland in Uueen's County, 
near Clonaslee, called Cones. Tincone and Tincoon 
are two townlands in Wexford, one occupying the 
point of land opposite Wexford town at the other 
side of the river, the other on the shore oftheSlaney, 
opposite King's Island, five miles below Enniscorthy ; 

CHAP. XVI.] The Sea. 255 

both names being anglicised from the Irish Tigh-an- 
chuahi, the house of the harbour or winding. 

Crompdn signifies a little creek, an inlet at the 
mouth of a small stream, or branching off from a 
river, lake, or sea. It is very much used in Kil- 
kenny, and is also found in the southern and western 
counties. Crumpaun is the name of a little river 
flowing at the base of Nephin mountain in Mayo 
into Lough Beltra ; and of another river near Lime- 
rick, joining the Shannon about three miles below 
the city. There is a townland called Crumpaun in 
the parish of Eossinver in Leitrim, two miles west 
of Glenade Lough, which takes its name from a little 
stream, one of the sources of the Black river, which 
joins the river Duff; and another in the parish of 
Kil Catherine in Cork, near the village of Eyeries. 

The word pill has much the same meaning as crom- 
pdn — a small river inlet ; on the Wexford and Water- 
ford coasts, where it is much used, it is applied to a 
deep cutting or channel made in the sea-mud by a 
small tidal river as it enters the sea.* It appears 
evident that it is merely an oblique form of 7^0//, a 
hole : — nominative ;;o//, genitive ^jo?//^ [pil®]- Avery 
apt illustration of the word is Canpill, the name of 
a little hamlet at a bridge, just at the head (ceanii) 
of a small inlet or /;/// branching off from the river 
Barrow near Dunbrody abbey in Wexford. 

The ancient and present Irish name of Pilltown 
in the south of Kilkenny, is BaiIe-an-2)Jioill [Ballin- 
file], the town of the^jo//, ox pill; and it appears to 

* On this, and on several other local matters, I have got much 
information from George Henry Kinahan, Esq., M. K. I. A., 
F. R. G. S. I., ■who turns his journeys through various parts of 
Ireland to good account in obtaining a knowledge of the legends 
and antiquities of the country. 

256 The Sea. [chap. xvi. 

have taken its name from the Pill river which joins 
the Suir after flowing through the village. There is 
also a Pilltown two miles from Drogheda on the road 
to Laytown ; and another in the parish of Kinsale- 
beg in Waterford, about three miles from Ardmore. 
Rosspile in the parish of Ballylannan in Wexford, 
near the head of Bannow bay, is the ross or wood of 
the inlet. Pill Lane near Church-street in Dublin, 
took its name from a little pill that branched off from 
the Liffoy in former days, long before the river was 
confined by quay walls. 

I have already remarked (1st Ser., Part IV., 
c. II.), that the word cuas (properly a cave) is 
applied along the coast of Cork and Kerry to a little 
cove ; and that it usually takes the form of coos. It 
is also sometimes made ens, as in Cuskenny, a place 
about a mile below Queenstown ; the name was ori- 
ginally applied to the adjacent little semicircular 
inlet, and it signifies Kenny's cove. 

In the south of Ireland, the word goilin [goleen] 
is used to signify a small sea or river inlet. In the 
parish of Kilmore, near Mizen head in Cork, there is 
a little creek, which gives name to the townland of 
Coleen. Burnham near Dingle, the seat of Lord 
Ventry, is called in Irish to this day, Coleen, a 
name which was originally applied to the little creek 
into which a tiny stream flows at the western end of 
Dingle Harbour. There is an old castle ruin on the 
shore of the creek which still retains the name of 
Ballingoleen, the townland of the inlet. One part of 
the modern name was probably intended to be a trans- 
lation of f/oi/hi — Burnham, the home of the burn or 
stream — formed exactly like Pockingham (see this 
in 1st Ser.) But it is to be remarked that the name 

CHAP. XVI.] TJte Sea. 257 

may be an importation — a mere imitation of the 
English Burnham. 

In the west, especially in Gralway, enisle [cashla] 
is nsed to signify a sea inlet ; of which the best 
known example is Cashla bay, west of Galway, 
which is also the name of the river flowing into 
it. Though this is the sense in which the word 
is now understood, I am inclined to think that it 
was originally applied to a river ; and the Irish 
name of Cashla bay to some extent favours this 
opinion, viz., Cuati Caisk, the bay of Cashla, which 
looks as if the bay got its name from the river. 
There is a very little lake one mile east of Clifden, 
an enlargement of a small stream, flowing from 
Lough Nabrackkeagh into the Owenglin river ; and 
the name of this lake is also a sort of confirmation of 
the same opinion — Lough Cashleen (diminutive of 
Cashla), the lake of the little Cashla. Here Cashleen 
must mean a stream, for both lake and stream are 
inland, and there is no inlet of any kind. The same 
observation applies to the townland of Cashleen in 
the parish of Ballynakill in G-alway near Einvyle 
Point, which evidently takes its name from tlie little 
stream on whose banks it is situated, flowing into the 
sea just near the Point. 

It may be added that the root of the word is ob- 
viously the Irish cas, twisted or crooked ; so that its 
application to a river would be generally very appro- 
priate. In Donegal the word emlacli, another de- 
rivative from cas (postfix lach, p. 5), is understood 
to mean a creek ; and it appears in this sense in 
Kincaslough, a townland on the mainland opposite 
Cruit island, which gives name to a lake, and which 
was itself so called from its situation at the head 
{ceann) of the little inlet called " Cruit Strand." 

258 The Sea. [chap. xvi. 

Blean means tlie groin ; but in a secondary sense 
it is applied to a creek, branching off either from the 
sea or from a lake, or formed by the mouth of a 
river ; sometimes it means any hollow or curved place. 
It is much used in local names, and it is found all 
over Ireland, especially in the northern half. Blean 
and Blane are the names of some places in Wicklow, 
Clare, Gal way, and Tipperary. Blaney, the plural form 
of hlean, is the name of a little bay on the southern 
side of lower Lough Erne, near Derrygonnelly, so 
called because it is formed of several smaller bays : — 
Blaney, literally creeks. At the extreme western 
end of the same lake, there is an inlet called Bleana- 
lung, the creek of the boat. In upper Lough Erne 
there is an island called Bleanish, properly Bleanin- 
ish, creek island, so called from the little inlet be- 
tween it and Crom Castle on the mainland ; Bun- 
nablaneybane in the parish of Clones, Fermanagh, 
the end {bun) of the white blean or curve ; and Killy- 
blane in the parish of Killesher, same county, the 
Avood (coill) of the curved spot. Blainroe, red creek 
or curve, in the parish of Kilpool, a little south of 
Wicklow town. 

In Gralway we have Bleanoran, Odhran's or 
Oran's creek or curve ; and Bleannagloos, a singular 
name, signifying the creek or curve of the ears {cluas), 
so called no doubt from some peculiarity of shape : 
in the parish of Annaduff in Leitrim, Bleankillew, 
the blean of the wood ; which takes its name from 
being on the shore of that arm of Lough Bofin which 
is now called Lough Scannel. 

I have already stated (page 241) that gaeth is 
sometimes applied to the sea ; it is used in this sense, 
and in the old form gaot, in Cormac's Glossary, under 
bircli. This term occurs on the northern half of the 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 259 

western coast, and it is there restricted in its appli- 
cation to " a shallow stream into which the tide flows, 
and which is fordable at low water (O'Donovan, Ap- 
pendix to O'Reilly's Diet., nnder gaefh). There is a 
townland called Gweesalia in the parish of Kilcom- 
mon in Erris, Mayo, which takes its name from its 
position on the shore of a tidal creek branching off 
from Blacksod bay ; the name being Gaeth-saile, i. e. 
salt-water tide-inlet. The best known names exhi- 
biting this word are Gweedore and Gweebarra, ap- 
plied to two bays on the west coast of Donegal, into 
which flow two tidal streams of the same names. In 
A. D. 619, according to the Four Masters, Ddir, the 
son of Hugh Allan, king of Ireland, was slain by a 
chieftain named Flann Fiadhbhadh [Feeva] ; but 
Flann himself was soon afterwards killed in revenge 
for this deed by the friends of Ddir, on the little island 
of Inishkeel in Gweebarra bay. O'Donovan (Four 
M. I. 242, note /) believes that the river and bay of 
Gweedore took its name from this prince: — Gaeth- 
Doir, Doir's inlet. I think we may conclude that 
Gweebarra also derived its name from a man ; but 
I do not know of any authority, written or other- 
wise, bearing on the point. 



Among the various circumstances that determine the 
names of places, colour holds in all countries a pro- 
minent position ; and accordingly we find the words 


260 Cohiirs. [chap. xvii. 

denoting the diiferent colours widely spread among 
the local names of our own country. The colours that 
attracted the observation of the people who imposed 
the names, whether applied to the surface of the 
land, to rocks, rivers, or lakes, are characteristic of 
most of these places and objects at the present day ; 
but on the other hand, there are many instances in 
which all traces of the original colour have disap- 
peared ; and this is especially the case where the 
prevailing hue was given by trees, shrubs, bogs, or 
marshes, which have been removed by cultivation. 

As colours are infinitely varied, and run one into 
another by imperceptible gradations, it is not to be 
expected that the colours and shades which one 
nation or people designates by distinct names, will 
be in all cases the same as those distinguished by 
corresponding names among other nations. And 
indeed in the same language, the words for co- 
lours vary greatly in their signification ; the Eng- 
lish words green and grey for instance, are a]3pliedto 
shades very different among themselves. So in re- 
gard to some of the Irish names for colours, it is not 
always easy to determine the exact hues or shades 
intended, or to give the precise equivalents of the 
terms in English. 

Black. Duhh [duv], black, blackish, very dark 
coloured. This word is found in vast numbers of 
names throughout all Ireland ; a fact which results 
in a great measure from the j^revalence of bogs and 
boggy lands. Its most usual English forms are duf, 
doo, and du, the fii'st of which is seen in Dufi'carrick 
and in Carrickduff, both of which mean black rock. 
The little river Duff flows on the boundary of the 
counties of Sligo and Leitrim, and falls into Donegal 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 261 

bay four miles west of Bundoran. It is called Diihh 
in the annals, which in the Book of Armagh, is 
translated Nif/er, i. e. black. At its mouth is the 
townland of Bunduff, the bun or mouth of the river 
Duff. There are two townlands in Gralwaj called 
Ballinduff, a name which is preserved in its correct 
form by the Four Masters : — BaUc-an-duihh, the 
town of the black or dark-complexioned man. 

Many of our lakes whose waters look inky black, 
partly from the infusion of bog, partly on account of 
the reflection of tlie dark sides of the surrounding 
hills, get the names of Loughduif, Loughdoo, and 
Doolough, all meaning black lake ; which again 
gives names to several townlands, villages, and resi- 

The prevalence of bogs also accounts for the great 
number of Irish rivers having names which signify 
black or dark. Douglas has already been mentioned. 
The diminutive Duog or Duvog — black streamlet- 
is the name of many small streams, corresponding in 
formation with Brenoge and Grlanog (which see). 
And besides these there are the several rivers now 
called Blackwater. 

Sometimes whole districts were designated by this 
word duhh, if their surfaces were boggy or clothed in 
a dark covering of heather. There is a well-known 
district in the barony of Scarawalsh in "Wexford, 
now called the Duflfry ; but the correct Irish name, 
as we find it in our old authorities, is Duihhthir 
[Duffir], which signifies black territor}^ {fir, land or 
country). The name is very correctly anglicised 
Duffi/r in Clyn's annals ; but the present form 
Duffry seems to be derived from the genitive, Duihh- 
thiro, which it correctly represents in sound (IstSer., 
Part I., c. II.) 

262 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

The Dinnseanchas records a legend,* that this terri- 
tory was once open and fertile — " a broad, delightful 
region ;" and it was possessed by two brothers, Guaire 
and Daire. But Gruaire treacherously slew his bro- 
ther and seized upon his part of the territory ; 
after which a curse fell upon the land as a punish- 
ment for the crime, and the whole district beoame 
overgrown with brushwood and heath ; whence it 
wa.s called Duihh-thir. One inference we may draw 
from this legend, that at the time when it was writ- 
ten, the land was covered with heather and scrub- 
wood, from which, and not from bogs, it got its name. 
The "Faes of Athlone," a woody district in the county 
Roscommon, was also Galled Duihhthir (Four Masters), 
for the very same reason. And the word exists in 
the name of Drumdiffer in the parish of Drumreilly 
in Leitrim, the dnun or ridge of the black district. 

Dooally and Doocatteens are the names of two 
townlands near Newcastle in Limerick, which are the 
anglicised forms of Bubh-ailk, black cliff, and Duhh- 
choltchinidhe, black cotteens or commonages. Dooros 
and Doorus signify black wood in the south, and black 
promontory in the north. Four miles above Listowel 
in Kerry, the river Feale divides and encloses an 
island ; on one of the branches there was in old times 
a ford, which was called Duhh-ath, black ford ; the 
old church built near it took the same name, and 
in its turn gave name to the village and parish, 
which are now called Duagh. 

The word is softened down in various ways, which 
will be illustrated in the following names. Dinish 
is the name of a little island well known to Killarney 
tourists, situated near the Old Weir Bridge ; and 

* Translated by Bryan O'Looney, Esq., M. R. I. A., in Proc. 
R.I.A., MS. Ser.,p.'l84. 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. Ib3 

there are several islands in other counties called 
Dinis, Dinish, and Deenish ; all which are shortened 
from Duibh-inis, black island. Deelis and Deelish, 
which are names of common occurrence, have been 
similarly reduced from Bidbh-lws, black fort ; which 
is also the Irish form of Dufless in Tyrone, of Doolis 
in Tipperary, and of Devleash in Mayo. It occurs 
as a compound in Cordevlis, the name of some places 
in Cavan and Monaghan, the round hill of the black 

The well-known mountain, Divis, near Belfast, is 
called in Irish Dnbh-ais, which simply means black 
hill ; and this old name seems to find an echo in 
English, for there are two other hills very near it, 
now called Black Hill and Black Mountain. There 
is another place of the same name in Mayo, slightly 
altered to Divish ; while in Donegal it takes the 
form of Dooish. Diviny and Divanagh, which are 
the names of some townlands in Tyrone, Armagh, and 
Fermanagh, are anglicised forms of Duibh-eanaigh^ 
black marshes. At A. D. 1146, the Annals of Innis- 
fallen record the erection of CaisIen-Easa-duibhe (the 
castle of the black cataract: pron. Cashlen- Asdee) . 
The latter part of this long designation is still re- 
tained as the name of a little hamlet three miles west 
of Ballylongford in Kerry, now called Astee. The 
boggy little river, in time of flood, rushes over ledges 
of rock near the village, and this is the feature 
that gave it the name of the black cataract. The 
form dee is also exhibited in Clashnamonadee near 
Lismore in Waterford — Clais-na-nwna-duibhe, the 
trench of the black bog. 

At the bottom of some deep bogs there is found a 
half liquid stufi", as black as jet, which was formerly 
used by the peasantry all over Ireland for dyeing 

2<yt Colours. [chap. xvii. 

black ; and is still so used in remote districts. It 
served its purpose admirably well, giving frieze and 
other woollens an excellent dye, and it was usually 
known by the name of duhhadh [dooa], which an- 
swers to the English word hlaching (old form dubad ; 
Cor. Gl.). Many of the places where this dye stuff 
was found are still indicated by their names ; such as 
Oarrickadooey in the parish of Maghcross in Monagh- 
an, Carraig-a^-duhJiaidh, the rock of the black dye- 
stuff : Pollandoo in Donegal, Polladooey in Gralway 
and Longford, and Polladoohy near Crossmolina in 
Mayo, all take their names from tlie deep hole 
(poll) out of which the colouring matter was taken ; 
Derrynadooey in Roscommon, and Eskeradooey in 
Tyrone, the oak wood and the sand-ridge of the 
black dye stuff. 

Ciar [keer] is commonly understood to mean jet 
black. The ordinary name among the peasantry for 
a beetle or chafer is c/'arog [keeroge], a diminutive of 
ciar, meaning black little fellow ; the other diminu- 
tive, Ciaran, was formerly extremely common as a 
man's name, meaning a dark complexioned person ; 
and it still exists in the family name Kieran. The 
word is also used to signify a dull or brownish black ; 
and this is, I suppose, the sense in which we are to 
understand it in local names. There is a small river 
called Keerglen in the parish of Kilfian in Mayo, 
giving name to a townland, and taking its own name 
from the glen through which it flows : — Ciar-gleann, 
dark coloured glen. 

White. Finn or fionn, white, is a word of most 
ancient and extensive use in the Celtic languages. 
It glosses albus in the St. Grail manuscript of Zeuss ; 
and still more ancient is its use in forming part 
of personal names, both Irish and Gaulish. Vindus, 

CHAP, xvn.] Colours. 265 

the termination of many Glaulisli names, is anotlier 
form of this word ; and Finn has been used as a 
j)ersonal name in our own country, from the time of 
the great hero, Finn the son of Cumhal — and long 
before him indeed — down to our own day. 

In local nomenclature the word is used to desig- 
nate places eitlier absolutely white, or whitish, fair 
or bright coloured ; as for instance the side of a hill 
covered with whitish grass ; and its usual anglicised 
forms are finn or fin. The Four Masters record a 
fight between the O'Neills and the O'Boyles in 
A. D. 1502, at a place in Donegal, which they call 
Tulach-finn, the white little hill ; it is situated near 
Inver, and is still known by the name of Tullagh- 
fin. Finvoy, the name of a parish in Antrim, and 
of a townland in Louth, is the modern way of writing 
the old name, as we find it in the annals — Finn- 
mhagh, white or bright plain ; which again takes the 
formFinaway near Crosserlough in Cavan. Carrick- 
fin in Donegal and Westmeatli, signifies white rock. 

In the south of Ireland finn is commonly pro- 
noun ced/eo»;i ox f line, which originates the anglicised 
forms foiin and fiine, occasionally met with. Thus 
Knockfune in Tipperary is the same as Knockfin 
in other counties; and the Four Masters give the 
correct form of both, Cnoc-Fionn, white hill. So 
also Coolfune is the same as Coolfin, white corner. 
Inchafune near Dunmanway in Cork, white inch or 
river meadow. In the King's' County this word is 
sometimes pronounced fan, which is reflected in the 
name of Fancroft near Roscrea, a name which is 
greatly corrupted. In the Hed Book of Ossory it is 
written in one place Fynchor, and in another place ■ 
Fyncora ; from which it is obvious that the original 
name is Finn-choradh, white weir. 

266 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

Although finn strictly means a colour, it is used 
to designate water that is clear or transparent. In 
this way is formed the name Finglas from glais, a 
little stream : — Fuin-g Ms (so written in many old 
autliorities), crystal rivulet. The village of Finglas 
near Dublin takes its name from the little stream 
which flows through it, and joins the Tolka at Fin- 
glas Bridge ; there are several streams of the same 
name in different parts of Ireland ; and it is also 
modified to Finglush, Finglash, and Finglasha. 
Compounded with ros, a wood, it gives name to the 
village of Eosenallis in Queen's County, a name 
which is very much corrupted from the original. 
There was an ancient church here, dedicated to St. 
Brigid; and Colgan in enumerating it among the 
churches of this saint, gives the true form of the 
name, Bosfinglas, which signifies the wood of the 
bright stream. I may here observe that this name, 
Finglas, is the counterpart of another name still 
better known, Douglas, dark stream — which has been 
noticed in First Series. 

Many other examples might be given of the appli- 
cation of this word to water, but I will mention 
only one more, namely, the sparkling little river 
Finnihy at Kenmare, which deserves its name as 
well as any stream in Ireland. The termination in 
this name is of frequent occurrence in the Munster 
counties, especially in Cork and Kerry ; and it 
appears to be the samfe as the participial termination 
in verbs : — Finnithe, corresponding exactly with 
claHha from cidr {Lehor na li- Uidlwe : O'Curry Lect., 
II., 315) ; and with odhartha in Cinain-odhartha, 
now Clonoura in the parish of Fennor in Tipperary, 
pale-grey meadow, and in Cnoc-odhartha, pale-grey 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 267 

hill, now Knockoura in Cork and Gralway, both from 
odhar (p. 278 : see Phoenix Park in 1st Ser.). 

The compound Finnahhair, old form Findabair, 
was formerly common as the name of a person, gene- 
rally of a woman, but sometimes of a man ; and it 
was also used as a place-name. As the name of a 
place, some of the old Irish-Latin writers have trans- 
lated it cai)ipHs-albi(s, white-coloured field (Jocelin, 
Vit. Patr. c. 94) ; but I suppose that this is intended 
to express the fact that Finnahhair meant a whitish 
place, for I do not think that ahhair can be in any 
case, the equivalent of campus. O'Curry (Lect., 
III., 10), translates Finnahhair as a personal name 
by " fair-browed," which would also answer very 
well in its application to a place — a whitish coloured 
brow of a field — a hill-brow. But it may be doubted 
whether ahair here can mean a brow ; for as Mr. 
Crowe remarks (Proc. R. I. A., MS. Ser. 159), the 
genitive of ahair a brow, is ahrat (thus Eochaidh 
Ahrat-ruaidh, Eochaidh of the red brow — a king of 
Leinster) ; while the genitive of Find-ahair, as a per- 
sonal or local name is Find-ahrach. It appears in fact 
that there are two different words, both spelled ahair in 
the nominative : — ahair, gen. ahrat, a brow or eye-lash ; 
ahair, gen. ahrach (meaning?) ; and that it is the latter 
word that appears in Findahair. Mr. Crowe, in the 
same place, translates Find-ahair " bright-beam," 
comparing ahair with Lat. ajjricnni ; but I do not 
know on what authority he bases this interpretation. 
Whatever may be the exact meaning of ahair here, 
we may take it that Finnahhair was locally applied 
to a whitish spot. It has several modern forms, in 
most of which the h is altogether suppressed, on 
account of aspiration. The most usual is Fennor, 
which is the name of nine townlands in the Leinster 

268 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

and Munster counties. Fennor on the Boyne in 
Meatli — a place of great antiquity— is called by the 
annalists, Finnabhair-ahha, i, e., Fennor of the river 
(Boyne), to distinguish it from other Fennors ; and 
Finnabhair or Fennor in Westmeath is mentioned by 
the Four Masters as the scene of two battles in 
the years 794 and 822. This term takes several 
other anglicised forms ; in Donegal and Fermanagh 
it is made Finner ; in Roscommon and Clare, Finnor ; 
Finver is found once in Donegal ; while in Gal way 
and Sligo it becomes Finnure. 

The genitive, fionnahhrach [finnoura] appears in 
the name of Kilfenora in Clare, an ancient bishop's 
see, called by the annalists C ill- Fionnahhrach ; 
and the same form occurs in Knockfenora near 
Bruree in Limerick. It is probable that the second 
part of each of these is the name of a person — man 
or woman : — the church and the hill of Finnahair. 
With the /eclipsed in the genitive plural, we find it 
in Ballynavenooragh near Brandon Hill in Kerry, 
which very correctly represents the sound of the 
Irish Baile-na-hhfionnahhrach, the town of the white 
coloured spots, or of the persons named Finnahair. 

The word ceinnfhionn [cannon] which literally 
means white head (ceann, head), is now applied to a 
cow with a white spot on the middle of her fore- 
head. The term is used by the Four Masters at 
A. M. 3972, when they record the legend that dur- 
ing the reign of king Fiacha Finailches, all the cows 
were ceinclfhiond, white headed. The meaning of 
this compound is sometimes extended however, so 
that it is used to designate anything speckled with 
white spots. In this sense it is used to give name 
to Foilcannon, a great cliff with a smooth face of 
rock, under the Eagle's Nest near Glengarriff : i. e. 

CHAP. XYii.] Colours. 269 

speckled cliff. So also Clooncannon in Gralway, 
speckled meadow ; Carrigcannon in Cork and Kerry, 
speckled rock ; Drumcannon and Drumcanon in the 
northern counties, speckled ridge ; Lettercannon in 
Kerry, speckled hill-side. Some of the preceding 
may have taken their names from a legendary cow 
(like Loughnaheery, p. 280) ; and this is certainly 
the case with Foilnacanony in the parish of Upper- 
church in Tipperary, and with Grlennacannon near 
Baltinglass in Wicklow, the cliff, and the glen, of the 
white-headed cow. 

Ban signifies white or whitish. There is a beau- 
tiful lake in Westmeath, near the village of Fore, 
called Loughbane or Loughbawn, white lake ; and 
another of the same name in Monaghan, three miles 
north of the village of Shercock : connected with the 
former is the small Lough Grlass (green lake) ; and 
with the latter. Black Lake ; each pair receiving 
their names from some real or fancied contrast of 
colour. Carrickbaun and Carrigbaun, white rock, 
are the names of places in Cork and Leitrim ; 
Clashbane near Caherconlish in Limerick, white 

The promontory of Kenbane near Bally castle in 
Antrim, with its castle ruins, is a characteristic 
example of the application of this word ; the cliff is 
composed of white limestone, and the name, Ceann- 
hdn, white head, exactly describes its appearance. 
Sometimes the people give the name of gearrdn-bdn, 
white fjarron or horse, to conspicuous white rocks, in 
which they fancy they can trace some resemblance 
to the shape of a horse. There is a hill about a mile 
from the village of Clarinbridge in (ralway, which 
the Four Masters call Cnoc-an-ghearrdin-bhdin, the 

270 Colours, [chap. xvii. 

hill [of the white horse, and which is now called 
Knockagarranbaun . 

In very many cases the h of this word becomes 
v or tv by aspiration. There is a river in Cork, 
called the Owvane, white river, flowing through a 
fine valley into the head of Bantry bay, so called, I 
suppose, to distinguish it from some other river 
whose waters are very dark from bog ; and there are 
several other rivers of the same name in other parts 
of Ireland. Many little bays round the sea coast 
and round the shores of the larger lakes, are called 
Trawane, Trabane, and Trawbawn, white strand, 
which derive their names from the whitish colour of 
the sand. 

Geal [gal] means white, fair-coloured, or bright. 
There is a place near the city of Limerick called 
Gralvone, white bog {Geal-mhoin), which probably 
received its name either from the white sedge grass, 
commonly cdXledifinane, or from the cannvaun or bog- 
down. Loughgal, white lake, is a little lake three 
miles south of Elphin in Eoscommon ; Galcussagh, 
literally white-footed, is the name of a townland in the 
parish of Desertcreat in Tyrone ; and it was, I suppose, 
applied to low lying land covered with white flowers, 
or whitish grass. 

Gile [gilla] is an abstract noun derived from geal, 
and signifies brightness or whiteness ; it is often 
heard in the colloquial language, as in the common 
epithet of endearment, Gillanuichree, brightness of 
my heart ; and it is found quite as often as geal in 
local names. Lough Gill in Sligo, is always called 
in the annals, Loch-gile, the lake of brightness, or 
bright lake ; and there is a small lake in the parish 
of Aghagower in Mayo, called Loughannagilla, the 
little lake of the brightness. This word also appears 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 271 

in Legilly in the parish of Clonfeacle in Tyrone, the 
bright lug or hollow. 

Red. Dearg signifies a deep scarlet, or very 
decided red {derc, rubes ; Z. 61) ; and in the forma- 
tion of names it usually takes the forms derg^ derrig, 
and darrig. There are several fords and bridges 
all over the country called Belderg, Bellahaderg, 
Ballaghaderg, and Bellanaderg, all meaning red ford 
{hel and bel-atha, a ford : 1st Ser., Part III. c. v.), 
which were so called from the colour of the water, 
which again took its colour from the soil or mud. 
There is a parish in Tipperary, half-way between 
Caher and Clonmel, now called Derrygrath, near 
where Lewy Mac Con was killed (see Grortan- 
ore, in Chapter XX.) ; it took its name from a con- 
spicuous fort, still in existence, which is called in 
Irish Dearg-rath, red rath. The same name is found 
in Boscommon in the more correct form Dergraw ; 
and there is a townland in Queen's County called 
Ratherrig, whose Irish name is Rath-dhearg, same 
meaning. In this last the d drops out by aspiration, 
as it does in Lickerrig near Athenry in Gralway, whose 
Irish name, Lic-dhearg, red surface-flag, most truly 
describes the place. 

Ruadh [roo], red, reddish, or fox-coloured, is 
equivalent to, and cognate with, the Latin ruber, and 
English red and ruddy. This word is very exten- 
sively used in the formation of Irish local names ; 
and though it is variously modified, its most usual 
anglicised form is roe. 

There are two places in Donegal — one near the 
village of Convoy and the other near Kilmacrenan 
— called Cloghroe, red stone or stone castle ; and 
there is another place of the same name two miles from 
Ballincollig in Cork. The Owenroe or red river, a 

272 Colours. [chap. xvii. 


tributary of tlie Blackwater, flows through the vil- 
lage of Moynalty in Meath. Moyroe near Dun- 
gannon in Tyrone, is Magh-ruadh, reddish plain ; 
which is also the Irish form of Moroe, the name of 
a little village in the parish of Abington in Lime- 
rick. At the little hamlet of Roevehagh in the 
parish of Killeely, near Clarinbridge in Gralway, 
grew the inauguration tree of the Hy-Fiachmch 
A klhnc (see 1st Ser., Part IY.,c. viii.), from which the 
hamlet took its name. At A. D. 1143, according to 
the Four Masters, Turlough O'Brien led a hostile 
expedition into Connaught, and cut down this tree, 
which the old authority calls Ruadh-hheitheack, i. e. 
the red birch, the pronunciation of which is well 
represented by Eoevehagh. The word takes another 
form in Mulroy, the name of a long bay in the north 
of Donegal, which must have been so called from a 
hill, the Irish name being Maol-rnadh, red bald-hill. 

By means of various postfixes, several derivatives 
are formed from this word, which are, or were, all 
applied to reddish-coloured spots. With the dimi- 
nutive an, we have Ruan in Limerick and Clare ; 
Ruanes in Cork ; Ruaunmore in Wexford (great 
red place) ; Rowan and Rowans in Armagh, Meath, 
and Dublin ; and Rooaun in several counties. With 
can or c/m'/i, Roughan and Rooghaun, the names of 
several townlands ; with lach (p. 5} Roolagh in 
Tipperary, Rolagh in Meath, and Rowlagh in Dub- 
lin ; and with tach (p. 8) we have Rootiagh and 
Routagh in Limerick, and Rootagh in Tipperary. 

Yellow. Bnidhe [bwee or boy] yellow, is evi- 
dently cognate with Latin badiiis, Fr. bai, Eng. hay 
(colour). The usual form in anglicised names is 
boy, though it is sometimes made by, ree, way, wee, 
&c., the last three by the aspiration of the b. 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 273 

This term, like dearcj, was often applied to fords, 
from the colour of the water, caused bj yellow 
mud. The village of Athboy in Meath got its 
name from a ford on the river which flows through 
it ; it is very frequently mentioned in the annals by 
the name oi Ath-buidhe-TlacJdga, the yellow ford of 
Tlachtga, from the celebrated hill of Tlachtga, now 
called the Hill of Ward, in its neighbourhood. The 
name Ath-huidhe often compounds with hel, ford- 
mouth, forming Bel-an-atha-buidhe, the mouth of the 
yellow ford, which was the name of a ford on the 
river Oallan, a little north of Armagh, where O'Neill 
defeated Bagenal's army in 1598. The anglicised 
form of this — Bellanaboy — is the name of some 
places in Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, and Donegal ; and 
it is corrupted to Ballinaboy in Cork, Gralway, and 

There are two places in Donegal called Straboy, 
one of which (near Grlenties) is mentioned by the 
Four Masters, who call it Smth-huidhe, the yellow 
srath or river holm. Other modern forms of this 
word are seen in Ballybinaby near Roche Castle, 
four miles from Dundalk, the town of the yellow 
bin or peak ; Drumbanaway in Tyrone, the ridge 
of the yellow peak ; and Ben wee itself — yellow 
peak — is the name of some hills in Mayo and else- 
where. Eallowvee near Cushendall in Antrim, 
yellow hedge or enclosure (see p. 211). The little 
stream Owenwee — yellow river — flows under the 
base of Slieve League in Donegal ; and there are 
other streams called Owenboy giving names to town- 
lands in Donegal and Mayo. 

Brown. Bonn is brown, dark brown ; much the 
same in meaning as the English word dan : donn, 
fuscus, Z. 225. When the word occurs in names, 


274 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

whicli is not often, it is generally anglicised doum ; 
as in Barnadown, the name of some places in Kil- 
kenny and Wexford, signifying brown gap. 

Croii [crone] signifies brown, dark-brown, or 
swarthy ; and in this sense it is still a living word. 
Ardcrone, brown height, is the name of a place in 
the parish of Currans in Kerry ; Curkacrone near 
Callan in Kilkenny, brown oats (coirce) or oats-land ; 
Cronkill in Armagh and Tipperary, and Crunkill in 
Roscommon, brown wood ; Cruninish, brown island, 
the name of an islet in lower Lough Erne. There is 
a large lake called Lough Croan, dark brown lake, 
in Roscommon, four miles from Mount Talbot. The 
syllable cron has other meanings however, which it 
is sometimes hard to distinguish from the present in 
anglicised names. 

Green. Glas is commonly translated green ; and 
this is its usual acceptation, for we find it often ap- 
plied to express the green of grass and foliage. But 
the word was also used to designate a greyish or 
bluish green, or rather a greyish blue, a shade of 
colour having in it little or none of what we should 
call green. For instance glas was often applied to a 
greyish blue eye ; and also to the colour of the water- 
wagtail. In its topographical applif^ation however, 
it must be generally understood to mean grass- 

The Four Masters record the erection of a fort 
called Rath-Lochaid, in the reign of Trial Faidh, one 
of the pre-Christian kings, at a place called Glas- 
charn, green earn or monument, which 0' Donovan 
identifies with Griascarn near Mullingar ; and there is 
another Griascarn near Ratoath in Meath. Glas- 
carrig, green rock, is the name of a place on the coast 
of Wexford, remarkable for its abbey ruins. In 

CHAP, xvii.] Colours. 275 

1493 a bloody battle was fought between two clans 
of the O'Neills at a place in the parish of Aghanloo 
in Tyrone, which the annalists call Glas-droDiainn, 
green ridge, but which is now called Grlasdrummond ; 
this is also the name of other townlands in Armagh 
and Monaghan ; and there are more than twenty in 
the northern and western counties called more cor- 
rectly Grlasdrumman. Glaslough, a small town in 
Monaghan, takes its name, which means green lake, 
from the small lake near the town ; Grlassillan, 
green island, is the name of several small islands 
oif the coasts, and in the lakes of Mayo and Gralway. 

The word assumes other forms, chiefly by gram- 
matical inflection, as may be seen in the following 
names. There is a place in the parish of Donagh- 
moyne in Monaghan, called CorcuUionglish, which 
is anglicised from Cor-cuillinn-glnis, the round hill 
of the green holly ; Kilmaglush in Carlow, and 
Kilmagiish in Westmeath, both signify the church 
of the green magh or plain. 

Blue. Gorin signifies blue. It is often applied 
to mountains, and of course in this case desig- 
nates their blue colour when seen from a distance. 
There is a range of hills north of Donegal town, 
called Croaghgorm, which has also the correct alias 
name of Bluestack. Bengorm, blue peak, is a high 
mountain rising over the Killeries in Connemara ; 
there is another fine mountain of the same name 
over Lough Feeagh, north-west of Newport in 
Mayo, and we have Bingorms near Slievesnaght in 
the parish of Grartan in Donegal — Beanna-gorma, 
blue peaks : Slievegorm, blue mountain, in the parish 
of Killererin in Gralway. 

The word gorm was also used to designate the 
colours of various natural objects, such as the soil, 


276 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

rocks, water, &c. ; and it was applied to several 
shades of blue. Poulgorm, blue pool, is the name 
of some small lakes in Clare, Cork, and other 
counties ; there is a little island in Lough Melvin in 
Fermanagh, called Grorminish, blue island ; Gror- 
magh bridge crosses the silver river, two miles north 
of Tullamore in King's County — Gorm-acliadh, blue 
field ; and there is a place called Grormlee in the parish 
of Dunbulloge, north of Cork city — Gor)iiUatJi, bluish 
grey, a name derived from the colour of the soil. 

Grey. Riahhach signifies greyish, brindled, swar- 
thy, or tan-coloured — for I find it translated by all 
these terms : some Latin writers render it fmciis. 
The shades of colour designated by this word must 
have been usual in the surface of the land, for it is 
very general in local names; and it is commonly 
anglicised in the forms of reagJi, rect, and reragh. 

The Four Masters, at A. D. 1476, mention a 
castle called UatJt-riahJtaeh, grey rath, in Longford, 
which is now called Rathreagh, and gives name to a 
church and parish, where the ruins of both castle and 
church still remain. In Mayo there is another parish 
of the same name ; and this is also the name of some 
townlands in Kilkenny and Limerick. There is a 
townland near Downpatrick called Eingreagh, i. e. 
Hinn-riabhach, grey point. 

The simple anglicised form, Beagh, locally under- 
stood to mean grey lands, is the name of some places 
in Cork, Roscommon, and Down ; it is softened to 
Eee in the parish of Agive}^ in Derry ; wliile several 
other places in Galway and Tyrone are designated 
by the diminutive Reaghan, a name which signifies 
a small grey spot of laud ; and there are numerous 
hills in the south of Ireland, called Slievereagh, 
grey mountain. 

CHAP. xYii.] Colours. 277 

In tlie west and nortti-west, the hli of riabhach 
generally gets its full v sound ; and in this case, the 
word is usually represented by re.racjh : — Grortre- 
vagh in Gralway, grey field, is the same as Grort- 
reagli in Tyrone and in some of the Munster 
counties ; the same word appears in Derrygortrevy in 
Tj'ronCjthe oak-wood of the grey field; Carrickreagh, 
grey rock, in Fermanagh, takes the form of Oarrick- 
revagh in Leitrim. This term designates a man in 
Attithomasrevagh near Salthill, a suburb of Gralway, 
which means the site of swarthy Thomas's house 
{aif, site ; teach, house : see 1st Ser., Part III., c. i.). 
Liafh [leea] answers exactly to the English word 
grey : and in anglicised names it generally assumes 
the forms of lea and leagJi. Leagh itself, in the 
sense of grey land, gives name to a number of town- 
lands in various counties ; and the word takes the 
form of Lea as the name of a parish in Queen's 
County, and of several places in other counties. The 
plural Liatha, grey spots, is represented by Leaha 
in Gralway and Kerry, Leaghs in Tyrone, and 
Leahj^s in Limerick. As a diminutive we find it in 
Leaghan in Fermanagh and Tyrone, Leighin in 
Cavan, Leaheen in Clare, Leighan in Fermanagh, 
LeighoD, the name of a little island near Lettermore 
island in Connemara — all which were originally ap- 
plied to grey spots of land. 

There is a village in Fermanagh, situated on the 
Finn, called Rosslea, whose name was obviously 
dei'ived from the piece of land half enclosed by 
a bend of the river: — Ros-liath, grey peninsula. 
Carriglea, Carrigleagh, Carrigleigh, and Carrick- 
leagh, are the names of townlands in Waterford, 
Cork, and Louth, all signifying grey rock ; and 
there are several places in Leitrim, Monaghan, 

278 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

and Roscommon, called Creevelea, grey branch or 
branchy tree. In the parish of Two-mile-Borris, 
east of Thurles in Tipperary, there is a very ancient 
church, which is called in the annals Liath-M6r 
(great grey spot), and also Liafh-Mockaeiiihog, Mo- 
chaemhofjs grey land ; and it still retains this latter 
name in the anglicised form of Leamokevoge, which 
transmits the sound truly enough. St. Mochaenihog, 
who founded this church, was the son of the sister of 
the celebrated St. Ita of Killeedy in Limerick (see 
1st Ser., Part II., c. iii.) ; he is sometimes called 
Piikho'ius, which is merely a translation of his Irish 
name ; for Mochaemhog signifies " my beautiful 
youth." He was a very eminent man, and died in 
A. D. 655. There is another church, founded by, 
or dedicated to, this saint, in the south of the county 
Kilkenny, called Cill Mochaemhog, and now Kilma- 
kevoge, which gives name to a parish ; but the 
people are beginning to call it Killivory from a 
notion that caemhog means ivory (see O'Donovan in 
Four Masters, I., 266, note b). 

Fale Grey. The word odliar [oar, our] signifies 
a dun colour, a pale-grey, or light brown. It is 
found in our oldest writings {pdar ; Cor. GL), and it 
continues in use as a living word. It usually 
occurs in names in the anglicised forms of ore, ower, 
or our ; as in Ardore in Fermanagh, and Ardour in 
Galway, grey height ; Corrower in Mayo, pale-grey 
hill ; Moanour, the name of a hill near Galbally in 
Limerick, grey bog. There are two townlands in 
Galway called Ower, which is nothing but the 
simple word, and signifies dun coloured land ; and 
Ouragh near TuUow in Carlo w is an adjective form 
with tbe same meaning. The d becomes restored 
(see 1st Ser., Part I., c. ii.) in the name of Odder 

CHAP. xvii.J Colours. 279 

near Tara in Meath, whicli is called in tlie annals, 
Odhm, the plural of odhar, signifying pale-grey spots 
of land. 

The word odhar was sometimes used to designate 
streams, to express probably the brown colour of water 
that flowed through bogs. In our most ancient autho- 
rity, the account of the cattle spoil of Cooley in the 
Lebor na h- ZHdhre, a river is mentioned called Odras, 
which is an abstract noun : — odar, pale-grey ; odras, 
pale-greyness (seep. 12 for the termination s). This 
river is stated to be at Slieve Baune in the east of 
the county Eoscommon ; and as the name would 
be pronounced Oris, the Odras is probably the same 
as the river now called the Feorish, which flows from 
the slopes of Slieve Baune, and joins the Shannon 
opposite Cloondara in Longford ; f being prefixed 
to the name as is done so often in other cases (1st 
Ser., Part I., c. ii.). 

We have another example of this application in 
the name of the river Nier in "Waterford, which rises 
from a group of lakes in the Comeragh mountains, 
and flows into the Suir below Clonmel. The n is 
merely the article, attracted to the name in the 
manner already explained (N'ier, the grey [river] : 
1st Ser., Part I., c. it.) ; and the people carefully 
separate them when speaking Irish, and give each 
its proper declension. It appears clear that this 
name is an oblique form of odhar (which they pro- 
nounce, nom. our, gen. iera, dat. ier) ; for as I have 
shown (Ist Ser., Part I., c. ii.), the custom of using 
oblique forms as nominatives has grown into a sort 
of law in the Irish as well as in other Eurojsean 
languages ; and hence we call Ara, Aran ; Teamhair, 
Tara, &c. That tliis is the true interpretation of the 
name is further shown by the fact that Camalough 

280 Colours. [chap. xvii. 

or Cumalougli, one of the group of small lakes from 
•wliich the Nier flows, is sometimes called Cuma- 
lougli odhar, grey lake, by the natives (" Cumaloch 
odhar a's Com-na-gcapaU ;^' old song).* 

The fine valley through which the river flows is 
called Gkann-na-h-Uidhre [Grianahiery], the glen of 
the Odhar or Nier ; which has given name to the 
barony of Glenahiry. And this is a further proof 
of the correctness of the preceding etymology ; for 
')}a-huidhre is exactly the genitive oian-odhar. There 
is a Glannaheera in the parish of Ballinvoher, east 
of Dingle in Kerry, which the people correctly 
interpret, the glen of the brown stream. • 

The word odhar, with the same oblique pronuncia- 
tion, but without the attracted article, gives name 
to the little stream, now called the Ire, which flows 
eastwards from the well-known mountain lake of 
Coumshingaun (two miles from the source of the 
Nier), and joins the Clodiagh river. 

This word odhar is often applied to a cow ; and 
several places have derived their names from legen- 
dary cows with this designation. Names of this 
kind may be known by their terminations ; for they 
almost always end in naheery, naheera, or nahoora ; 
as in Kilnaheery near Clogher in Tyrone, and Kil- 
nahera near Dromdaleague in Cork, Coill-na-hi(idhre, 
the wood of the dun cow. Under the eastern face 
of Slieve Beagh on the boundary of Tyrone and 
Monaghan, there is a small lake called Loughna- 
heery, with the mountain of Essnaheery rising over 
it, which took its name from an ess or waterfall ; and 
the hill of Monahoora lies on the north side of Slieve 

* Here I am drawing on information supplied by Mr. John 
Fleming of Rathgorinuck, of whom I have spoken in the Pre- 
i'ace to the spcond edition of 1st Scries. 

CHAP. XVII.] Colours. 281 

Croob in Down, Moin-na-huidhre, the bog of tbe dun 
cow. This is also the origin of the name of the 
ancient book so often quoted in these pages, called 
Lebor net h- Uidhre, [Lower-na-heera], the book of the 
brown cow ; for according to the legendary account, 
it was written by St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise, and 
the vellum of which it was composed was made from 
the hide of his favourite dark grey cow. 

Speckled. Breac [brack] signifies speckled or 
parti-coloured. As land, especially hill-sides or dry 
upland, often presents a speckled or spotted appear- 
ance, caused by different kinds of vegetation, or by 
the varying colours of the soil or of rocks, this word 
is of very frequent occurrence in local names ; and 
it usually takes the anglicised form hrach. At A. D. 
1601, the Four Masters mention a place in Galway 
called Coill-hhreac, speckled wood — speckled, I sup- 
pose, from a mixture of various coloured trees ; it is 
now called Kylebrack, and is situated in the parish 
of Lei trim. With a slight difference of form we 
have Kilbrack in Cork and Waterford, and Kilbracks, 
(speckled woods or churches) in Armagh. There is 
a townland near Oola in Limerick, called Brackyle, 
which is the same name with the root-words reversed. 

The Brack bawn is a fine mountain stream flowing 
down the side of the Galty Mountains near Kilbeh- 
enny, and joining the Funshion; or rather it is itself 
the head water of the Funshion. The name pro- 
perly belongs to a townland through which the river 
flows ; and it signifies speckled whitish land {ban, 
p. 269). The word brack is often applied in this 
way, as a noun, meaning speckled land : — Brackna- 
hevla in the parish of Killare in Westmeath, speckled 
land of the orchard {abhal) ; Bracknamuckley near 
Portglenone in Antrim, speckled land of the mv.clach 

282 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii. 

or piggeiy. Many other places taking their names 
from the word breac have been noticed in this and 
the former volume. 

There is another word for speckled, viz., hrit, hriot, 
or hreat, which is also often used in the formation of 
names. MuUybrit, speckled summit, is the name of 
a townland near Lisbellaw in Fermanagh, the same 
as Mullybrack, Mullabrack, and MuUaghbrack, else- 
where. Brittas, which has been already noticed 
(p. 14), is corrupted to British in the parish of Kil- 
lead in Antrim, and forms part of the name of 
Ballybrittas in Queen's County and Wexford, the 
town of the speckled land. 



When a place is named from some particular kind 
of animal, the name of the animal usually comes in 
at the end of the local designation, in the genitive 
plural. Sometimes the article is omitted, as in case 
of Slieve-Buek, the name of a mountain south of Ennis- 
kerry in Wicklow, of another giving name to a town- 
land near Raphoe in Donegal, and of a few elsewhere. 
The Irish form of the name is Sliahh-hoc, the mountain 
of the bucks or stags. But more generally the article 
is inserted, which eclipses the first consonant, if it 
can be eclipsed : this is seen in Carricknagat and 
Carrignagat, wliich occur in many places all over 
the country, the Irisli form of which is Carraig-na- 
gcat, the rock of the (wild) cats. Occasionally the 
name of the animal comes first ; as in Roaninish, a 
little island ofi" Donegal, outside Grweebarra bay, 

CHAP. XVIII.] The Animal Kingdom. 283 

Ron-inis, seal island ; Rcancarrick, the name of 
several small rocks and rocky islets round the coast, 
resorts for seals — Ro)i-charraig, seal rock. This is 
the same name as Carrignarone, which is also occa- 
sionally met with. This name too has a literary 
and romantic interest- When the four children of 
Lir, who had been turned into swans by their wicked 
stepmother, were driven about by tempests on the 
rough sea of Moyle (the narrow sea between Antrim 
and the 3IulI of Oantire), they appointed Carrigna- 
rone as their meeting place, in case they should be 
separated by the storm ; and when Finola, the 
eldest, came to the rock, and found her brothers 
absent, she uttered a lament which Moore has echoed 
in his beautiful song " Silent, Moyle, be the roar 
of thy water." 

There is yet another way of forming names of this 
kind, to which I have to direct special attention, viz., 
the name of the animal is brought in at the end, in 
the genitive singular instead of the genitive plural. 
And names of this class are intended to express 
the fact that the places were the haunts of the 
animals in question (the same as if the genitive 
plural were used), a single animal being made to 
stand for the whole species. An excellent example 
of this is Poulanishery or Poulnasherry, a well- 
known inlet of the Shannon near which you pass in 
going from Kilrush to Kilkee. It has always pro- 
duced abundance of oysters ; and there is still an 
oyster bed at its western side. This fact is expressed 
by the name — Poll-an-oisire, the hole, pool, or inlet, 
of the oyster (not of the oysters). It is to be ob- 
served, however, that in some names of this kind, 
one animal is really meant ; and then the name is 
often connected with a legend. Whether this is the 

284 The Animal Kingdom. [fHAP. xviii. 

case or not in any particular place, can only be as- 
certained from local knowledge. 

Ants and Midges. Miol [meel] denotes any kind 
of animal ; different species being designated by 
means of qualifying terms. We find it standing 
alone in Bellaveel near Ballyliaunis in Mayo, the 
hel or ford of the beast {h aspirated to r). When 
this simple form is used collectively, it is sometimes 
intended to denote pismires ; as in Drumnameel 
near Enniskillen, which is understood there to mean 
the ridge of the ants ; and occasionally it stands for 
midges, as in Croaghnameal, a mountain six miles 
east of Donegal town, the hill of the midges. 

The diminutive mioltog [meelthoge] is the usual 
word for a midge ; and this term is pretty general 
in names, always indicating a place where, in favor- 
able weather, there are swarms of midges. There is 
a townland called Meeltoge near Belturbet in Cavan, 
and another, Meeltogues, in the parish of Kilskeery 
in Tyrone, both meaning a midgy place. Boherna- 
meeltoge in the parish of Killoe in Longford, is the 
road of the midges ; and there is a little lake called 
Loughnameeltoge, among the Oroaghgorm hills, 
north of Donegal. Other derivatives of the word 
miol are applied to the same little animal : — as ex- 
amples take Curraghmeelagh — midge -marsh — the 
name of a townland and of a little lake in the parish 
of Killoughy in King's County ; Cornameelta near 
Boyle in Roscommon, and Cormeeltan in Leitrim, 
botli meaning the round iTill of the midges. 

The general Irish word for a pismire or ant is 
seangdn [shangaun] ; wliich is a diminutive from 
.s/'ang, slender, and means slender little fellow. 
There is a small low hill near the village of Louth, 
where an abbey, which afterwards became much 

CHAP. XYiii.] The Animal Kingdo))i. 285 

celebrated, was founded in 1148, and consecrated by 
the great St. Malachy O'Morgair, archbishop of Ar- 
magh. It is mentioned often in Irish records by 
the name of Ciioc-iia-seaiigdn, the hill of the ants ; 
and it is now generally called in English, Pismire 
Hill ; while the abbey is called Knock Abbey. 
There are townlands of this name in Donegal and 
Fermanagh, which are now correctly anglicised 
Knocknashangan ; and near Lurgan in Armagh, is 
a place called Knocknashane and sometimes Knock- 
naseggane, both of which are varied forms of the 
same name. 

Near the lake of Gartan in Donegal, there is a 
place called Maghernashangan, the plain {machaire] 
of the pismires ; Coolshangan near Inver in the 
same county," and Coolshingaun in the parish of 
Inagh, Clare {cuil, a corner) ; Lisheennashingane 
three miles from Miltown in Kerry, on the road to 
Killarney {lisiii, a little fort) ; Garranashingaun in 
the parish of Castletownarra in Tipperary (r/arran, 
a shrubbery) ; Aghnashingan in Longford, the field 
(ac/iadh) of the ants. There is a little river near 
Bantry called Owennashingaun — pismire river — 
joining the Hen near Dromdaleague. 

With the termination ach (p. 3) is formed senngd- 
nac/i, which signifies a place abounding in pismires ; 
and this term, in various anglicised forms, is the 
name of a great many places in different parts of the 
country. The best known is Shanganagh in Dublin, 
between Killiney and Bray, which Denis Florence 
M'Carthy has commemorated in his poem, " The 
Vale of Shanganagh." The pronunciation adopted 
in the poem, which is that universally used by the 
educated people of the city and county of Dublin 
[Shan-gan'na, to rliyme with maiiiia'] would point to 

286 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii. 

the erroneous etymology, sean-gaineamh, old sand. 
But the traditional pronunciation of the native pea- 
santry [ShangTma : accent on Shang ; the other two 
syllables very short] shows that the name is an 
anglicised form of 8eanganach. Even to this day 
these insects are specially abundant along the banks 
of the little river that runs through the townland. 
There is also a' Shanganagh in Clare, and another 
about three miles from Athy in Queen's County. 
In Kilkenny, this name takes the form of Shan- 
ganuy. In Cork it is Shauanagh ; in Mayo, Tip- 
perary, and Waterford, Shinganagh ; in Gralway, 
Shiunanagh ; and in Clare Shingaunagh. Shin- 
gauu, the simple word, without the termination ach, 
is the name of a place in Wexford, and has the same 
meaning as all the preceding — a place full of ants 
or pismires. 

Mouse. This little animal is called Inch in Irish 
(lucli, mus : Z. 71) ; but tlie diminutive Inchog is the 
term most generally employed. It is seen in Incha- 
lughoge, the name of a little stream and of a town- 
land in the parish of Kiluoe in the east of Clare, the 
inch or river-meadow of the mice. Grortnalughoge, 
mouse field, is a place in the parish of Mevagh in 
the north of Donegal ; there is a townland called 
MuUynalughoge near Clones, the summit of the 
mice ; and Esknaloughoge is a hill, four miles west 
of Sneem in Kerry, which must have taken its name 
from an esk or water-channel. 

Wren. In old times, t*liis little bird was regarded 
as a great prophet ; for by listening attentively to 
its chirping, those who were skilled in the language 
of birds were enabled to predict future events. 
Hence the writer of an old Life of St. Moling trans- 
lates dreany which is one name for the bird, by 

CHAP, xviii.] The Animal Kingdom. 287 

" magus avium," the " druid of birds," implying 
that drcan was derived from drui-en (d)-iii, a druid ; 
en, of birds), and sajs that it was so called on ac- 
count of the excellence of its augur j. Although I 
fear this will be regarded as a very fanciful etymo- 
logy, yet it shows in what estimation the wren was 
held in the time of the writer. Our well-known 
rhyme " The wren, the wren, the king of all birds," 
is a remnant, no doubt, of this ancient superstition. 

The wren has several names. Two of them, dreoldn 
and dreoihn [drolaun, droleen] are different diminu- 
tives of the same root ; of which the former is ex- 
hibited in Grorteenadrolane east of Inchigeelagh in 
Cork, the little field of the wren ; and the latter in 
MuUadrillen near Ardee in Louth, the wren's hill- 
summit. The other term, drean, we find in Drum- 
dran, the name of two townlands in Fermanagh and 
Tyrone, which means the ridge of the wrens. 

Wagtail. The water-wagtail has received a name 
in Irish which is derived from the colour of the 
bird, viz., glasog, a diminutive of glas, green or 
greyish-green : — glasog, grey-green little fellow. 
This is moreover an old name, for it is the one used 
in the ancient Irish poetical list of animals published 
by Sir William E. Wilde in Proc. E. I. A., vol. vii. 
Lisglassock near Ballymahon in Longford, took its 
name from a fort, which must have been frequented 
by these little birds — the lis of the water- wagtails ; 
and the townland of Terry glassog near Dungannon 
in Tyrone, should have been called Derryglassog, 
the derry or oak-grove of the wagtails. 

Robin Redbreast. There is no difiiculty in detect- 
ing the name of this bird in local denominations ; 
for it is called in Irish spideog, which is pronounced 
and usually anglicised spiddoge. There is a place 

288 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii. 

near Stradbally in Queen's County called Kylespid- 
doge, the wood {coill) of the redbreasts; Turnaspi- 
dogy near Inohigeelagh in Cork, must have got its 
name fr^m a bush from which the robin's song was 
constantly heard, as the name signifies the redbreast's 
bush. There is a townland about five miles south- 
west of Tullow in Carlow, containing the ruins of a 
castle, called Glraignaspiddoge, the graig or village 
of the robins. 

SjKirrow. GcaJhlidn or Gealiin [galvan, galloon] 
is the word usually employed to denote a sparrow ; 
though with various qualifying terms it is also ap- 
plied to the linnet, the bulfinch, the yellow-hammer, 
and other little birds. Sranagalloon in the parish of 
Inchicronan in Clare, exhibits the word with its 
usual southern pronunciation — Syath-na-ngealhhun, 
the srath or river-holm of the sparrows. So also 
Derrygalun, two miles from Kanturk in Cork, spar- 
row-grove ; and Cloonagalloon in the parish of 
Meelick in Mayo [cliiain, a meadow). The northern 
varieties of pronunciation are seen in Drumagelviu 
in Monaghan, the sparrow's ridge ; and in Lisna- 
gelvin near the city of Derry, the lis or fort of the 
sparrows. There is a small lake at the east side of 
Slieve Beagh in Monaghan, called Lough Galluane ; 
another just on the boundary of Donegal and Ty- 
rone, east of Lough Derg, called Lough Ayelvin ; 
and a tliird, three miles north-west of Pettigo in 
Donegal, with the name of Lough Ayellowin — all 
from the Irish Loch-cC -ghealbhain the lake of the 

Snipe. A snipe is denoted by the word naosga or 
naosgach [naisga], which is generally easy to recognise 
in names. Tullyneasky, the name of a place near 
Clonakilty in Cork, is not much changed from the 

CHAP, xviii.] Tlte Animal Kingdom. 289 

Irish Tulaigh-naosgaidh, the little hill of the snipes ; 
Grarrynaneaskagh near Ardfert in Kerry, and Toorna- 
neaskagh in the same county, the garden and the 
bleach-field of the snipes. 

Another word for a snipe, thongh not commonly 
used, is mcantdn. Ballinaminton, three miles from 
the village of Clara in King's County, is written in 
the DoAvn Survey, Bellanamantau, which shows that 
it took its name from a ford, and that the Irish form 
is Bel-atha-na-meanfdn, the ford-mouth of the snipes. 

Gronse. "We call a grouse in Irish either cearc- 
fraeigh or coileach-fraeigh [cark-free, colliagh-free]. 
The former is applied to the female, signifjdng lite- 
rally, heath-hen — {cearc, a hen ; fraech, heath) ; the 
latter to the male {coileach, a cock) ; but in common 
use they are applied indiscriminately to male and 
female. Places named from this bird are almost all 
wild mountain or moory districts, and any that are 
not so now, have been reclaimed since the time the 
places got the names. There is a townland nearly 
east of Grlenties in Donegal, called Cronacarkfree, a 
name which is slightly corrupted from Cro-na-gcearc- 
fraeigh, the cro or valley of the grouse. 

The full name of the bird seldom appears in 
names however ; the word cenrc being generally used 
alone ; and although this word means the hen of any 
bird, yet in its topographical application it is com- 
monly intended for grouse. It is easily recognised 
in names, as it always takes some such anglicised 
form as cark, kirly, kirit, or gark — the c being eclipsed 
by g in the last. Derrycark near Belturbet in Cavan, 
bears its meaning on its face — the oak-wood of (the 
heath-) hens or grouse ; Coolkirky two miles from 
Ballinhassig in Cork, the grouse-hen's angle or 
corner {cidl) ; Glennagark in the parish of Kilcor- 


290 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii 

mack in Wexford, and Slievenagark two miles west 
of Ballina in Mayo, the glen and the mountain of 
the grouse-hens. 

There is a well-known castle, now in ruins, on a 
little island in the western arm of Lough Corrib, 
called in the Four Masters, Caislen-na-circe, the hen's 
castle ; but now anglicised Castlekirk. History tells 
us that this castle was erected in the twelfth century 
by the sons of Roderick O'Conor, the last king of 
Ireland ; but local tradition will have it that it was 
built in one night by two grouse, a cock and a hen, 
who had been an Irish prince and princess. 

The other term for a grouse, coileacli-fraeigli or 
coileach simply, i. e. cock, is equally common. The 
word usually occurs with the first c eclipsed, as it 
appears in the following names : — Cornaguillagh, in 
Leitrim, Longford, and Monaghan, represents the 
Irish Cor-na-gcoUleach, the round hill of the (grouse-) 
cocks ; Coumnagillagh on the side of Mauherslieve 
or " mother-mountain," south of Silvermines in Tip- 
perary [com, a mountain glen) ; Knocknagulliagh 
near Carrickfergus, grouse hill, which same name 
is applied to a hill near Blessington in Wicklow, in 
the incorrect form of Crocknaglugh. We often find 
the word without eclipse ; as for instance in Ben- 
cullagh, one of the Twelve Pins in Connemara, the 
name of w4iich signifies the peak of the grouse ; 
Knockakilly near Thurles in Tipperary, in which 
the genitive singular form appears, the name mean- 
ing the grouse's hill ; and with the final g pro- 
nounced, we have Derreenacullig in the parish of Kil- 
laha in Kerry, the little oak wood of the grouse-cock. 

Bittern. The lonely boom of the bittern is heard 
more seldom year after year, as the marshes are be- 
coming drained and reclaimed. But we have names 

CHAP, xviii.] The Animal Kingdom. 291 

that point out the former haunts of the bird, and 
some of them indicate the wild moory character of 
the pLaces when the names were imposed. Biinndn 
is the Irish name of the bird; it is seen in Tievebunnan 
in the parish of Boho in Majo, the hill-side of the 
bitterns ; and in Curraghbonaun near Tobercurry 
in Sligo, where the old people liave still some 
memory of hearing the bittern booming from the 
cuvrach or marsh. About four miles from the sus- 
pension bridge at Kenmare, on the road to Glen- 
garriff, you cross the Feabunaun rivulet — the feith 
or marshy stream of the bitterns. Near the northern 
shore of Clew bay, about five miles west of West- 
port, there is a small island called Inishbobunnan : 
Inishbo, signifies the island of the cows ; and Inish- 
bobunnan, cow-island of the bitterns. 

Pigeon or dove. Colum signifies a dove. In seve- 
ral parts of the country, holes or caves in rocks, fre- 
quented by these birds, are called Pollnagolum, in 
Irish, Poll-na-gcohun, the hole or cave of the doves. 
In the present spoken language coliw [colure] is the 
more usual term for the same bird ; and it is found 
more often in names. There is a little river joining 
the Finow near Millstreet in Cork, called Owenna- 
gloor, i. e. A})liainn-na-gcolu)\ the river of the 
pigeons ; Annagloor is a toAvnla:id in the parish of 
Drishane in the same county (pigeon-ford: aili, a 
ford) ; and on the top of one of the Ballyhoura 
mountains, on the borders of Cork and Limerick, is 
a large rock, called Carraig-na-gcoliir, which now 
usually goes by the name of Pigeon Rock, a correct 
translation of the Irish, 

Cormorant. The common cormorant, a large 
black sea bird, well known round our coasts, has got 
several Irish names, most or all of which are repro- 


292 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii. 

duced in local names. One, dulhhen [divean] I do 
not find in the dictionaries, though it is in general 
use among Irish-speaking people of the coasts. And 
it will describes this fine bird, as it means literally 
hiack-hird ; dub/i, black; en a bird. There is a little 
island in the upper end of Lower Lough Erne, called 
Inishdivann, cormorant island ; and a townland in 
the parish of Killeeneen in Gralway, south-west of 
Athenry, is called Carheenadiveane, the little caher 
or stone fort of the cormorants. 

Hedgehog. The common hedgehog is called in 
Lish, graineog., which is no doubt derived from 
grain., signifying ugliness or abhorrence : graineog 
ugly or hateful little fellow. If this be the case, 
the name embodies to some extent the idle popular 
prejudices against this harmless little animal ; for 
the people formerly believed it was a witch in dis- 
guise, and that it used to suck cows, rob orchards, &c. 
These stories are spread over all Europe, and are 
probably as old as the ludo-Eui'opean race. Pliny 
states that the hedgehog catches up apples with its 
prickles ; and the witches in Macbeth find that it 
is time to begin their incantations, for 

"Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed, 
And once the hedge pig whined." 

The names that commemorate the haunts of this 
animal are not numerous. There is a townland in 
the parish of Inver in Donegal, called Meenagranoge, 
the meeji or mountain field of the hedgehog ; another 
in the parish of Robertstown in Limerick, near 
Foynes, called Inchagreenoge, the hedgehogs' 'i))ch 
or river-meadow ; and a small hill in the parish of 
Caheragh in the south of Cork, is called Knockna- 
granogy, the hill of the hedgehog. 

CHAP, xviii.] The Animal Kingdom. 293 

Hare. In another place I had occasion to remark 
that tlie word Jiadh [feea] was originally applied, to 
any wild animal, though latterly restricted to deer 
(1st. Ser., Part lY., c. vii). The hare would appear 
to be the smallest animal to which the term was 
applied, if we may judge by the composition of the 
name gearr-fhiadh [gerree] ; i. e. short or ?>r)in\\fiadh, 
from gcarr, short or deficient. The usual plural 
form is geirr-fhiadhacha, which is pronounced some- 
thing like girriha ; and this is exhibited in Bally- 
girriha in the parish of Donaghmore in Cork, the 
townland of the liares ; and in Dromgurrihy, one 
mile from Moukstown in the same county, th» hares' 

Lamb, A lamb is designated by the word nan, 
which is still a living word, and cognate with Latin 
agmis ; old Welsh oeii (ua)i, agnus : Z. 166). It 
usually occurs in the end of names in the genitive 
plural with the article, forming the easily recognised 
termination nanoon. There is a place called Stra- 
nanoon west of the southern extremity of Lough 
Allen in Leitrim, SratJt-na-mian, the river-holm of 
the lambs ; and with the same meaning Inchnanoon 
in the parish of Kilmacabea in Cork. Loughnanoon 
(lamb lake) is the name of a small lake five miles 
south of Killorglin in Kerry ; and there is a town- 
land called Gortuanoon, the field of the lambs, near 
Crosshaven, at the mouth of the Lee. 

There is another word for a lamb, not in such 
common use as van, namely luan ; from which 
Maloon near Cookstown derives its name — Magh- 
hian, the plain of the lambs. There is a place called 
Malone immediately south of Belfast, which in the 
old documents quoted at page 212, is mentioned as 
an alias name for Tuath-ne-fall, and there called 

294 TJie Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviit. 

My lone ; and this no doubt is the same as Maloon. 
The name occurs in combination in Gortmaloon in 
the parish of Knockane in Kerry ; the field of the 
plain of the lambs. 

Kid. The word meann and its diminutive meannan 
[man, manaun] both signify a kid ; the latter is 
more commonly used than the former, and it enters 
pretty extensively into the names of places under 
several modern forms. The southern pronunciation 
is well exhibited in Caherminnaun, now an old castle 
ruin giving name to a townland near Kilfenora in 
Clare — the cahcr or stone-fort of the kids. Near 
Newrath Bridge in Wicklow, is a place called Clon- 
mannan, the kids' meadow. Carrickmannan, now 
the name of a lake and townland near Saintfield in 
Down, and Carrigmannon on the Slaney about five 
miles above Wexford, both signify the kids' rock ; 
and there is a place in the parish of Faughanvale in 
Derry called Legavannon, the lug or hollow of the 
kid. It is possible that the latter part of some of 
these denominations may be a man's name. 

Wether. Molt signifies a wether [molt, vervex : 
Z. 67). It is well represented in Annamult, three 
miles from Thomastown in Kilkenny, which ob- 
viously took its name from a ford on the King's 
River, where sheep were in the habit of crossing : 
At/i-na-molt, the ford of the wethers. Bally namult 
{Bally, a town) is the name of a place on the summit . 
level of the road from Clonmel to Dungarvan ; Eos- 
mult in the parish of MoyalijBf in Tipperary, the 
wethers' wood. 

Heifer. The word dairt signifies a young heifer 
or bull, from one to two years old. This term is 
used in the very oldest of our manuscripts ; for the 
dairt, like the ned (p. 310), was anciently one of the 

CHAP. xviTi.] The Animal Kingdom. 295 

measures of value ; and the dried hide of a dairt 
was used by warriors to cover their bodies and their 
shields going to battle. It enters into local names ; 
but here it must be taken as meaning nothing more 
than this — that people were formerly in the habit 
of sending yearling heifers to graze in the places 

There is a hill three miles from Dunmore in the 
north of Galway, called Slieve Dart ; a high moun- 
tain of the same name, now called simply Dart, is 
situated west of Sawel mountain, just on the boun- 
dary between Derry and Tyrone ; and there are 
others still elsewhere : — the name signifies the 
mountain of the yearling heifers. In Cork we have 
Grlandart and Glandarta, the heifer's glen. The 
diminutive dartan sometimes occurs, as in Drum- 
dartan near Ballinamore in Leitrim, the ridge of 
the heifer, which has the same meaning as Drum- 
dart in the same county and in Monaghan. 

A coljxi or colpfJiach is a three year old heifer. 
The word is perpetually met with in old law tracts 
as a measure of value, and it is still in constant use 
in the spoken language. At the present day how- 
ever, in some parts of the country at least, it is com- 
monly used in connexion with grazing on commons ; 
and in this sense it is often applied to various graz- 
ing animals. Six sheep are called a coUo}) (this is 
the usual anglicised term), because they are estimated 
to eat as much grass as one full grown cow. Hov/- 
ever, in local names, we must understand the word 
in its original sense of a heifer. 

Mocollop on the Blackwater above Lismore, with 
its castle ruins, one of the old seat's of the Desmonds, 
is called in Irish Magh-colpa, the plain of the collops 
or heifers. In the parish of Racavan in Antrim, 

296 The Animal Kinrjdom. [chap, xviii. 

four miles north-east from Broughsliane, is a place 
called Kilnaoolpagli ; and near Castletownsend in the 
south of the county Cork, is Bawnnagollopy, the 
former signifying the wood, and the latter the green- 
field, Ox the collops. At Killycolpy, in the parish of 
Arboe, on the western shore of Lough Neagh, a con- 
siderable portion of the old " steer's wood," as it was 
correctly called in English, still remains. 

The word mart designates an ox or a full grown 
cow — a heof; and hence the compound, mairt-fheoil, 
for beef, literally ox-flesh. Stranamart is the name 
of a townland in the parisli of Killinagh in Cavan, 
signifying the srath or river-holm of the beeves ; and 
the term also appears in the old name of Westport 
in Mayo, which is still well-known : — Cahernamart, 
the stone-fort of the beeves. 

Eel. A good many names of small places 
through the country are derived from the word 
easgan, an eel ; and the form the word generally as- 
sumes is exhibited in Pollanaskan near Castlebar in 
Mayo, Poll-an-easgainn, the hole or pool of the eel. 

The word gcallog [galloge], a diminutive of geal, 
white, is understood in many parts of the country to 
mean a white-bellied eel, though it is occasionally 
applied to other fish. It appears in the name of 
Sranayalloge east of Lough Sheelin in Cavan, which 
the people call in Lish, Sruthan-na-ngeallog, the 
streamlet of the white-bellied eels. 

I'rout. Brcac [brack] signifies a trout, a name 
which it derives from its speckled skin (breae, 
speckled; page 281). The river Bealanabrack, 
flowing into Lough Corrib at its extreme western 
end, must have taken its name from one of its fords — 
probably that at Maum, now spanned by a hand- 
some bridge — which afl'orded amusement to anglers ; 

CHAP. XYiii.] Tho Animal Kingdom. 297 

for its Irish name is Bcl-atha-na-mh)'cac, tlie ford- 
mouth of the trouts. There are numberless small 
lakes in all parts of the country called Louglma- 
brack, trout lake. 

A well is sometimes met with containing one lone 
inhabitant — a single trout, which is always to be 
seen swimming about in its tiny dominion. These 
little animals are usually tame ; and the people hold 
them in great respect, and tell many wonderful 
legends about them. It was probably a fish of this 
kind that gave name to a little lake in the parish of 
Drumlease in Leitrim, two miles north-east of 
Drumahaire, called Lough Aneanvrick, Loch-an-aen- 
b/iric, the lake of the one trout. There is another 
little lake of the same name in the townland of Stra- 
namart, parish of Killinagh, Cavan, from which a 
stream flows into the Shannon before it enters Lough 
Allen ; but here the name is accounted for by a sort 
of legend, that when you fish in the lake you can 
catch only one trout at a time ; if you go away and 
come again you will catch another, and so on ; but 
no sacred character is attributed to the fisli. 

While the word breac is commonly used to desig- 
nate a trout, it is often apjDlied to any small fish, 
the different species being distinguished by various 
qualifying words. I have met with a great many 
compound terms formed in this way on the word 
breac ; and in several cases it is now difficult to find 
out what particular kinds of fish were meant. Some 
were no doubt difi'erent varieties of real trout ; while 
others were certainly not trout at all. Many of 
these terms enter into the names of small lakes, in 
which the several kinds of fish were found ; and 
these lakes are scattered over Munster, Connaught, 

298 The Animal Kingdom, [chap, xviii. 

and west Ulster, but they are esiDecially numerous 
in Donegal. 

There is a species of trout, found only in the lakes 
of the we^t of Ireland, and well-known to anglers, 
called the gillaroo (Irish (jioUa-ruadh, red fellow), be- 
cause they are distinguished by an unusual number 
of red spots. Great numbers of small lakes, in the 
counties from Donegal to Kerry, are called Lough 
Nabrackderg, Lough Nabrackdarrig, and Lough 
Nambrackdarrig', all signifying the lake of the red 
trouts; audit is probable that some or all of these were 
so named from the gillaroo. But we have also many 
small lakes called Lough Nabrackboy, the lake of the 
yellow trouts {huidhe, yellow) : what these are I can- 
not venture to conjecture. 

There is another curious lake-name which occurs 
very often in the west, all the way from Inishowen 
to Killarney — Lough Nabrackkeagli, the lake of 
the blind trouts [caech, blind) ; but why these fishes 
were called hreac-caech, or of what particular kind 
they were, I am unable to explain. We know that 
the fish inhabiting the gloomy waters of the great 
Mammoth cave of Kentucky, and those also found 
in some Carinthian subterranean lakes, are blind; for 
their eyes have gradually degenerated from long 
disuse, till at last after a series of generations, they 
have become merely rudimentary, and totally in- 
sensible to light. Can it be that our hreac-caech 
have become blind by living for ages in those sub- 
terranean waters so common in the limestone dis- 
tricts of the west, from which they occasionally come 
to the surface, where they are caught ? Whatever 
may be the cause, one thing is certain, that the hreac- 
caech is a little fish either wholly blind, or having 

CHAP. XVIII,] The Animal Kingdom. 299 

eyes so small or so imperfectly developed, as to be 
hardly perceptible. 

There are several small lakes in Donegal called 
Lough Nabrackbady ; one for example, about half 
way between Lough Nacung and the Gweedore 
river, and another in the valley between the moun- 
tains of Aghla More and Aghla Beg, four miles 
north-west from Lough Beagli. The word beadaidhe 
(represented in the name by hady) is still used in the 
colloquial language, especially in Donegal, and sig- 
nifies fond of dainties, fastidious, or saucy. This 
name signifies the lake of the saucy or dainty trouts ; 
and the fish are so called I suppose from their shy- 
ness in taking a bait.* 

If the angler should be scared away by the name of 
Lough Nabrackbad}^, or by that of Lough Nabrackbeg 
(the lake of the small trouts) near Duuglow, let him 
proceed straight to Lough Nabrackrawer about two 
miles north of Belleek, from which, if there be any- 
thing in a name, he is likely to return with a heavy 
basket — Loch-na-tnhreac-reamhar, the lake of the fat 
trouts ; or to Lough Nabrackalan, the lake of the 
beautiful trouts {dlainn, beautiful) ; or to Lough 
Nabrackmore near Dunglow, where if he get a bite 
at all, it is likely to be worth something (breac-mo7\ 
a great trout). 

One would think that there never was such a 
thing as a drowned trout ; yet there is a small lake 

* These lakes have been brought under my notice by the 
•writer of the review of my First Series of Irish JS'ames of Places, 
in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 21, 1869 ; and from him 1 have 
borrowed the explanation of the epithet given to these little 
fishes. My orthography and interpretation differ somewhat 
from those of the reviewer ; but I believe that it is the same 
lake- name that is meant in both cases. 

300 The Vcgcfahle Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

eight miles north of the town of Donegal, called 
Lough Nabrackbautia, the lake of the drowned 
trouts (ba/d//fc, drowned — see c. xxii.). Perhaps the 
same explanation will apply to this as to Lough 
Nabrackdeelion, which is the name of several of the 
Donegal lakelets — of one, for instance, in a chain of 
lakes, four miles south-east of Grieuties. This name 
signifies the lake of the flood-trouts {dilean, a flood) ; 
and the little fishes are so called because they always 
appear in those lakes after floods, which probably 
sweep them down from higher waters. 

The diminutive, hriem, has given name to Glen- 
brickeen, north-west from Clifden in Gralway, the 
glen of the little trout ; and to another place far 
better known, Brickeen Bridge at Killarney, the 
name of which means " little-trout bridge :" for the 
Irish form is Droichead-cC-hhricin [Drehid-a-vrickeen], 
of which the present name is a correct translation. 



Corn. The word arhhar [arwar, arroor] signifies 
corn of any kind, *' particularly so called when stand- 
ing, or before it is threshed" (O'Brien: Bish Diet.). 
It may be supposed that those places whose names 
are partly formed from this word, were originally 
isolated corn-producing spots, surrounded by uncul- 
tivated or unproductive land. It appears in Knock- 
anarroor near Killarney, Cnoc-an-arbhair, the hill of 
the corn ; and in Lissanarroor near Galbally in 
Limerick, which probably got its name from a Us or 
fort in which corn used to be stacked up. 

CHAP. SIX. J The Vegetable Kingdom. 301 

Another form is arhha [arwa, arroo] from winch 
arhliav appears to have been formed by the addition 
of 1- (p. 12j ; and it enters into names as often at 
least as arhhar. Meenanarwa in the parish of Inish- 
keel in Donegal, near Longh Finn, signifies the 
meen or mountain flat of the ^ corn ; Coolan arroo in 
the parish of Tuosist in Kerry, south-west of Ken- 
mare {eitil, a corner) ; Clonarrow near Philipstown 
in King's County, corn meadow ; Derryarrow near 
Mountrath in Queen's County, the deyry or oak- 
grove of the corn . 

Wheat. We know for a certainty that wheat has 
been cultivated in this country from the most remote 
ages ; for we find it constantly mentioned in our 
ancient literatiu^e. Many illustrations of this might 
be given, but one will be sufficient. In A. D. 651, 
Donogh and Conall, the two sons of BJathmac [Blaw- 
mac], afterwards king of Ireland, were slain by the 
Leiustermen at " the mill of Maeloran the son of 
Dima Cron." This event is recorded in the Annals 
of Tighernach (who died in 1088), in the Annals of 
Ulster, and in the Annals of the Four Masters. A 
contemporary bard composed a poem on the event, 
in which he apostrophises the mill in the following 
stanza : — 

" O mill, what hast thou ground ? Precious thy wheat ! 

It is not oats thou hast ground, but the offspring of Cearbh- 
all (i. e. the two princes). 

The grain which the mill has ground is not oats but blood- 
red wheat; 

With the scions of the great tree (Cearbhall) Maeloran's 
mill was fed." 

Mageogheghan, in his translation of the Annals of 
Clonmacnoise, says that "Donogh and Connell were 

302 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

killed by the Lynstermen near Mollingare, in the 
mill of Oran [or Maeloran] called Mollenoran." 
This mill was situated on the little river that runs 
from Lough Owel to Lough Iron, near the point 
where the river is now crossed by a bridge ; and the 
place still retains the name of MuUenoran. It is 
curious that a mill existed there from the time of 
the death of the princes — and no one can tell how 
long before — down to the end of the last century ; 
and there are some old people still living there 
whose fathers saw it in full work.* 

There are two native Irish words for wheat, tuir- 
eann and cruithneacJd [crunnat] ; but I will notice 
only the latter, for I do not find the other comme- 
morated in names. Cormac Mac Cullenan, in his 
Grlossary (ninth century), derives cniithneacJit from 
cniith [cruh] blood-coloured or red, and necht clean : 
the first part of this derivation is probably correct, 
but I fear modern philologists will be inclined to 
believe necht a mere termination (see page 2). Be 
that as it may however, the etymology sufficiently 
proves the interesting fact, that the wheat cultivated 
in the time of the venerable king bishop Cormac — 
1000 years ago — was the very same as the Irish 
wheat of the present day ; for every farmer knows 
that the old Irish wheat — now fast dying out — is 
distinguished by its red colour. 

It is worthy of remark that in several other lan- 
guages, wheat — as Pictet shows (Les Origines, I. 
261) — has been named from its colour, not indeed 
from its redness as in Ireland, but from its whiteness 
as compared with other kinds of corn. As one in- 

* See O'Donovan in Four Masters at A. D. 647. 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 303 

stance may be mentioned the English word wheats 
which he shows is only another form of white. 

Near Castleblaney in Monaghan there are three 
adjoining townlands called Tullanacrunat, modern- 
ised from Talamh-na-cruithneachta, signifying the 
land of the wheat ; Portnacriunaght in the parish 
of Kiluamanagh, Roscommon, the port or landing 
place of wheat ; Tullycreenaght near the town of 
Antrim, wheat hill. 

The simple word gives name to Crunagh in the 
parish of Loughgilly, and to Crunaght near Market- 
hill, botli in Armagh ; and the diminutive (see 
p. 19), to Crinuaghtane near Kilworth in Cork, and 
to Criunaghtaun near Cappoquin in "Waterford ; all 
these four names meaning wheat, or wheat bearing 

Oats. The observations made about the early 
cultivation of wheat apply equally to oats ; nume- 
rous references to its cultivation and use are found 
in our most ancient literature. In recent times, 
before the potato became very general, oats formed 
one of the principal articles of food of the people ; 
and even as late as the beginning of the present 
century, a quern or hand-mill, chiefly for grinding 
oats, was a very usual article in the houses of the 

The Irish word for oats is coirce [curkia] ; Welsh 
ceirch, Arraorio hcrch ; and it appears with its full 
pronunciation in Lissacurkia, the name of two places 
in Roscommon, one near Tulsk, and the other in 
the parish of Tibohine, near Frenchpark — the fort 
of the oats, a name of like origin to Lissanarroor 
(p. 300) ; while another form of the word appears 
in Farranacurky near Lisnaskea in Fermanagh, 
oats bearing land {fcai-aiiii). 

304 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

This word is very often sliortened to one syllable ; 
but whether shortened or not, it is easily recognised : 
the examples given here include almost all its 
anglicised forms. Grortaehurk is the name of a 
townland near Bellauanagh in Cavan ; and there is 
a place called Coolacork in the parish of Dungans- 
town, south of Wicklow ; the former signifying the 
field {gort), and the latter the angle or corner {cuil) 
of the oats. 

Barley. The Irish word for barley is f(>n2« [orna], 
which is very correctly represented in Coolnahorna, 
the name of places in Wexford and "VVaterford, the 
angle {ciiil) of the barley ; and in Tavnaghorna, 
now the name of a little stream near Cushendall in 
Antrim, whose proper meaning is barley-field. The 
word seldom gets its full pronunciation however, 
in modernised names, the final vowel sound being 
generally omitted. In the north of Derry, near 
Portrush, there is a townland called Craignahorn, 
the rock of the barley ; Mulnahorn, barley hill (ijinl), 
is the name of two townlands in Fermanagh and 
Tyrone ; Glennyhorn in the parish of Clontibret in 
Monaghan, is a corrupt form of the correct name, 
Cloonnahorn, the cloon or meadow of the barley ; 
Cappaghnahoran west of Mountrath in Queen's 
County, barley-field {ceapach). 

There is a little lake near Newry, giving name 
a townland, called Loughorne, barley lake ; another 
of the same name, in the slightly different form 
Lough Ourna, four miles north of Nenagh in Tip- 
perary ; and still another among the hills over Glen- 
garriff, which is conspicuously visible on the left hand 
side of the road to Kenmare, as you approach the 
tunnel : but this is now always called Barley Lake. 
It is not improbable that these lakes may have re- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 305 

ceived their names from the circumstance that barley 
used to be steeped and malted on their margins in 
ages gone by. 

Rye : Irish seagal [shaggal] : corresponding with 
the Latin secale, and French seigle. In modern 
names it appears almost always in the forms of 
toggle and teggle, the s being changed to t by eclipse. 
Lissataggle in the parish of Currans, near Castle- 
island in Kerry, is in the original Lios-a-tseagail, the 
fort of the rye (see Lissanarroor, p. 300) ; Coolataggle 
near Borrisoleigh in Tipperary [cuil, a corner) ; PoUa- 
taggle near Grort in Gal way, the hole or pool of the rye. 

Beans. The bean is designated in Irish by the 
word ponaire [ponara] ; which corresponds with the 
"Welsh. pona); and English bean; whence we have 
Ardnaponra near Moate in Westmeath, corrupted 
from Ard-na-bponalre, the height of the beans. In 
the south and west, the n is commonly omitted in 
pronunciation [poria] ; and this contraction is also 
carried into local names — Coolpowra near Portumna 
in Gralway, the hill-back {enl) of the beans. In the 
greater number of cases the 7; is aspirated ; as in 
Grorteenaphoria in the parish of Moyaliff in Tippe- 
rary, and Grortaphoria near Dingle bay, west of 
Drung hill — both meaning bean-field. 

Pea. Pis [pish], genitive jjise [pisha], signifies 
pease of all kinds, and is of course cognate with Eng. 
pease; Lat. pisum. It is almost alwaj-s anglicised 
pish and pisha ; as in Coolnapish and Coolnapisha in 
Carlo w, Kilkenny, and Limerick, the angle or hill-back 
(cuil or ciil) of the pease. From the diminutive pisedn 
[pishane] is formed (by the addition of ach — p. 3) 
Pishanagh, the name of two townlands in Westmeath, 
signifying a place producing pease. 

306 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xtx. 

Berries. A berry of any kind is denoted by caer 
[keare]. It is sometimes represented in names by 
keare, as in Dromkeare on the shore of Lough Cur- 
rane, orWaterville lake, in Kerry, the ridge of berries ; 
and Knockcoolkeare in the parish of Killeedy in 
Limerick, the hill of the angle {cnil) of the berries. 
In far the greater number of oases the c is eclipsed 
by g, and then the word is represented by gcer or 
some such anglicised form. Grlennageare in Cork 
and Clare, is in Irish Gleann-na-gcaer, the glen of 
the berries; Croaghnageer, a remarkable hill near 
the gap of Barnesmore in Donegal [croagh, a round 
hill) : so also Kilnageer in Mayo and Monaghan 
{coin, a wood) ; G-ortnagier in Gralway {gort, a field) ; 
and Monagear in Wexford, the bog {moin) of the 

Gooseberry. Spiondn [speenaun] is a gooseberry 
or a gooseberry bush, a diminutive from spin a 
thorn, which is of course the same as the Latin spina. 
Spinans in the parish of Donaghmore in Wicklow, 
signifies a place (or rather places, for the word is 
plural) abounding in gooseberry bushes ; and with 
another diminutive we have Speenoge in Donegal, 
north-west of Derry — same meaning : Killaspeenan 
near Newtown Butler in Fermanagh, the wood {coili) 
of the gooseberries. In some cases an r is corruptly 
inserted after the p, an example of which is Carrick- 
springan near Moynalty in Meath, the rock of the 
gooseberries. And in some parts of Munster the i 
is replaced in pronunciation by u ; which is exem- 
plified in Lisnasprunane, the name of a fort in the 
townland of Carranroe, near Adare in Limerick, 
gooseberry fort. 

Blackberry. Smear [smare] is the word for the 
common blackberry, and it gives name to a consider- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 307 

able number of places. It is seen unchanged in 
Smear in the parish of Columkille in Longford, sig- 
nifying a place producing blackberries : indeed the 
word almost alwaj^s preserves its original Irish form 
in anglicised names. Oappanasmear near Borriso- 
kane in Tipperarj, the plot (ceapach) of the black- 
berries ; Creenasmear at the base of Muekish moun- 
tain in Donegal (crioch, a district) ; Coolnasmear 
near Dungarvan, blackberry corner ; Drumnasmear 
in the parish of Layd in Antrim, the ridge of the 
blackberries. With the afSx lach (p. 5) this word 
gives name to the little river Smearlagh which flows 
into the Feale near Listowel in Kerry, the black- 
berry-producing river. 

I^ut. A nut of any kind is denoted by end [kno : 
both k and n sounded]. The old form, as given in 
Cormac's Grlossary, is cnii, cognate with Lat. nux, and 
Eng. ruit, both of which have lost the initial c. The 
word has several plural forms, one of which, cnaoi, 
gives name to a parish in Tipperary, now called 
Knigh — a name signifying a place producing nuts. 
Derrycnaw in the parish of Feakle in Clare, signifies 
the derri/ or oak-wood of the nuts — a name with the 
same general meaning as Derreennacno near Drom- 
daleague in Cork. There is a little lake in the parish 
of Kilgarvan in Kerry, near the river Roughty, 
called Ooolknoohill, which represents the Irish cuil- 
enoc/ioill, the corner of the nut-hazels (coll, hazel). 

In the preceding names the n has kept its place ; 
but it is generally changed to r in anglicised names, 
by a usual phonetic process explained in 1st. Ser., 
Part I., c. III. ; and this is always the case when g 
replaces c by eclipse. Both changes are exhibited in 
Cloonnagro near Lough Graney in Clare, not far 
from Derrycnaw, mentioned above, in Irish Cluainm 

X 2 

308 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

na-gcno, tlie meadow of the nuts ; and in Oavana- 
grow, two miles from Marketliill in Armagh, nut 

Floicer or blossom. There are several Irish words 
for a flower, of which I find only one reproduced to 
any extent in names, viz., bidfh [blaw]. It is 
connected with Sanscrit phull, to blossom ; with 
Latin /os; 0. H. Germ, blot ; A. Sax. blosma ; En- 
glish blossom, bloom, and bloiv. We have names formed 
from this word that not only speak of flowery fields, 
hut testify to our ancestors' perception and appreci- 
ation of this sort of quiet natural beauty. The 
popular admiration for flowers seems to have been 
developed among the people of Ireland at a very 
early period, if we are to judge by the cognomen of 
one of our ancient kings, and the circumstance said 
to have given rise to it. A little earlier than the time of 
Ollav Eola — ever so many centuries before the Chris- 
tian era — reigned Fiacha Finscothach [Feeha Fins- 
coha] ; and the legendary records tell us that he 
received this name because " every plain in Ireland 
abounded with flowers and shamrocks in his reign" 
(see p. 54, supra). Some of the old authorities in- 
terprety?yi in this name to mean wine {scotJi, a flower; 
Utiscotha, wine flowers) — for " these flowers moreover 
were found full of wine, so that the wine was pressed 
into bright vessels " (Four Masters) — a bardic way 
of saying that wine was made from them. Others 
again believe — and this is O'Donovan's opinion 
(Four M., A.M. 3867)— that />i here means white— 
this king " was surnamed Ffinsgohagh of the abund- 
ance of white flowers that were in his time " (Ma- 
geoghegan, Ann. Clon.). 

The names derived from this word are not nume- 
rous, Cloneblaugh near Clogher in Tyrone is one 

CHAP. XIX.] TJie Vegetable Kingdom. 309 

of the most characteristic, Cluain-hldthach, flowery 
meadow ; Bally blagh is the name of places in Ar- 
magh, Down, and Tyrone ; and there is a Ballybla 
in "Wicklow, all signifying the townland of the 
flowers or blossoms. We have in Inishowen, Done- 
gal, Carrowblagh, and on the western shore of Lough 
S willy in the same county, Carry blagh, both in 
Irish, Ceathramh-bldfhoch, bowery quarterland. About 
five miles east of Donegal town, there is a place 
called Blabreenagh, which the old people still under- 
stand to heBlath-bniig/ineach,ih.e hruujlican [breen] or 
fairy-fort of the blossoms. Near Coleraine there is 
a place called Blagh, whicb represents the adjective 
form BlatJiach, flowery —a flowery place. 

Scoth [skoh], another word for a flower, is very 
slenderly represented in local names. In the parish 
of Crossboyne in Mayo, there is a townland called 
Kilscohagh, a name which is anglicised from Coill- 
scothach, flowery wood ; and we have Kilscohanagli 
near the village of Dromdaleague in Cork, which 
probably has the same meaning ; but here the 
diminutive syllable an is inserted. 

Flax. One of the names of this plant is still pre- 
served in a great number of the European languages, 
the forms slightly varjdng, but all derived from the 
root Un. The Greek word is linon ; Latin linum 
(whence Eng. linen and linseed) ; A. Sax. lin ; Euss. 
ten it : Bohem. Icn, &c. This shows that it was cultivated 
by the western Aryan people since before the time 
of their separation into the various nationalities of 
Europe. The investigations of Dr. Oswald Heer of 
Munich have led him to believe that the original 
home of cultivated flax was on the shores of the 
Mediterranean ; it was cultivated in Egypt more 
than 4000 years ago ; and it has been found in the 
oldest of the lake dwellings of Switzerland. 

310 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap, xix 

The Celtic tribes who first set foot on our shores, 
brought the plant and a knowledge of its cultivation 
with them ; and corresponding to all the names 
given above, is the Irish /in [leen], which is still the 
word in universal use for flax. Besides the evidence 
of philology, our own records show that linen was 
manufactured in Ireland from the earliest historic 
times. It was a favourite article of dress, and was 
worked up and dyed in a great variety of forms and 
colours, and exported besides in large qiiantities to 
foreign nations. So that the manufacture for which 
one portion of Ireland is famous at the present day, 
is merely an energetic development of an industry, 
whose history is lost in the twilight of antiquity. 

We have a great number of places to which this 
plant has given names, and the word lin generally 
appears in the modernised forms leen, lin, and line — 
most commonly the first. Coolaleen in the parish 
of Killeedy in Limerick, near the village of Broad- 
ford, is in Irish Cuil-a-lin, the corner of the flax ; 
Crockaleen near Enniskillen, flax-hill ; Gortaleen in 
Cork and Kerry, the field of the flax. 

From the nature of some of the names we may 
infer that the species they commemorate was the 
wild or fairy flax, or as they call it in some places, 
Im-na-mnmighe [leenamnaw-shee]. This was probably 
the case in Killaleen near Drumahaire in Leitrim, 
and in Killyleen near the town of Monaghan, both 
signifying the wood [coill) of the flax. 

Other places seem to have received their names, 
not from producing flax, but because they were se- 
lected as drying places for it, after steeping ; such 
as Lisheenaleen in Cork, Gralway, and Tipperary, 
and Rathleen near Inistioge in Kilkenny, where, pro- 
bably, the flax was sj)read out on the green area of 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 311 

the Utiheen, rath, or fort. And the peasantry were, 
no doubt, long accustomed to put their flax to steep 
after pulling, in the pools of Monaleen (nwiii, a bog) 
near Newtown Mountkennedy, in Wicklow ; and of 
Curraghaleen {curragh, a marsh) near the railway 
line, four miles west of Athlone. 

Foxglove. The common foxglove, fairy-finger, or 
fairy-thimble — for it is known by all these names — 
the digitalis purpurea of botanists — is in Ireland a 
most potent herb ; for it is a great fairy plant ; and 
those who seek the aid of the good people in the cure 
of diseases, or in incantations of any kind, often make 
use of it to add to the power of their spells. It is 
known by several names in Irish, one of the most 
common being lusmore, great herb ; but I do not 
find this appellation reproduced in local nomencla- 
ture. It is also called sian or sian-deihhe (shean- 
sleva) i. e., siati of the mountain, because it grows 
plentifully in upland or hilly districts. 

As the foxglove is a showy and conspicuous plant, 
and one besides of such mysterious repute, it is not 
a matter of surprise that it enters pretty extensively 
into names. The initial s of sian is in every case that 
has come under my notice, changed to t in anglicised 
names, by eclipse ; and the word generally presents 
itself in such forms as teeat}, teane, tain, tine, &g. 
But as the word sidheaii, a fairy mount (see 1st Ser.) 
often also takes the same forms, it is sometimes hard 
to distinguish the correct meaning of these syllables. 
It often happens indeed, here as in other cases, that 
our only guide to the true meaning is the tradition 
of the old peojDle of the neighbourhood. 

Near Cushendall in Antrim is the townland of 
Gortateean, which would be called in Irish Gort- 
a'-tsiain, the field of the foxglove. MuUantain is 

812 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. Xix. 

tlie name of a place near Stewartstown in Tyrone ; 
and there is a townland in Kildare and another in 
Armagh, called Mullantine : — all meaning the lull 
{mid) of the fairy finger ; Drumantine, foxglove 
ridge, is the name of a place five miles north of 
Newrj ; Carrickateane and Carrickatane, the names 
of some places in and around Cavan— the rock of the 

The word mearaccbi, which properly means a 
thimble (a diminutive in* can, from mear, a fiager, 
just like tJihnble from tJiumh), is also applied to this 
plant, and corresponds with the English name of 
fairy thimble. In the parish of Inchicronan in Clare, 
there is a townland called Grortnamearacaun, the 
field (gorf) of the fairy thimbles ; at the western ex- 
tremity of which is a little liamlet called Thimble- 
town, an attempt at translating the name of the 

Fern. As many of the common kinds of fern grow 
in this country in great abundance and luxuriance, 
they have, as might be expected, given names to many 
places. The simplest form of the Irish word for the 
fern is raith, which is used in some very old docu- 
ments ; but this form is wholly forgotten in the 
modern language, and I cannot find that it has been 
perpetuated in names. The nearest derivative is 
Eathain [rahen] which is the Irish name (as we find 
it in many old documents) of the parish of Rahan in 
King's County, well known in ecclesiastical history 
as the place where St. Cai^thach was settled before he 
founded his great establishment at Lismore. This 
name, which signifies a ferny spot, occurs in several 
other parts of Ireland. The Mac Sweenys had a 
castle at a place called Rahan near Dunkineely in 
Donegal, which the Four Masters call Rathain ; there 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 3l3 

is a parish in Cork, near Mallow, with, the same 
name, and several places in different counties have 
the names Eahin and Eahans — all meaning the same 

The common word for the fern is raithne or raith- 
neach [rahna] which latter form is found in Cormac's 
Grlossary, and is used by the Irish speaking peasantry 
all over the country at the present day. One of its 
diminutives, RaithncacJian, in the anglicised form 
Eanaghan (a fern-growing spot) is the name of places 
in each of the four provinces. All the preceding 
forms are further illustrated in the following names. 

Ardrahan, a small village in the county Gal way, 
containing an old castle and a small portion of the 
ruins of a round tower, is often mentioned in the 
annals by the name of Ard-rathain, ferny height ; 
and this also is the name of two townlands in Kerry, 
and of one near Gralbally in Limerick. There are 
several places in dijfferent counties called Drumra- 
han, Drumraine, Drumrane, Drumrainy, andDrum- 
rahnee, all signifying the ridge of the ferns. 

Tavnaghranny {tarnagh, a field) is a place in the 
parish of the Grange of Laycl in Antrim ; Lisrenny, 
ferny fort, is situated three miles north of Ardee in 
Louth. In Westport bay, just outside the town, 
there is a small island now called Inishraher ; this 
name is corrupted from Inisliral/eii (change of w to r : 
see 1st Ser. Part I. c. iii.), for the annalists, who 
mention it more than once as the scene of skirmishes, 
always call it Inis-raitJini or Iim-rathain, i. e. ferny 
island. There is another small island near the 
western shore of Strangford Lough in Down, called 
Eainey, which is merely the phonetic representative 
of BaithnigJte, i. e. ferns. 

Thistle. This plant is denoted in Irish by either 

314 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap, xix, 

fofanndn or fothanndn\fo\\?inQ,\m], both which are ob- 
viously the same word, varied by dialectical corruption 
— for in Irish there is occasionally an interchange 
between th (which sounds the same as h) and / (see 
1st Ser. Part I. c. iii.) Although these are the 
words now employed, it is obvious that the forms 
fothan and fofan, of which they are diminutives, 
were in use at an earlier period; for we find the 
adjective form Foffanagh (a place full of thistles) as 
the name of a townland a little north of Buncrana 
in Donegal ; which is the same as fofaniv/ in the 
two townland names, Fofannybane and Fofanny- 
reagh (white and grey) in the parish of Kilcoo, at 
the northern base of the Mourne mountains. The 
little river of Grien Fofanny (thistle glen) flows down 
from Slieve Donard into the sea, a little south of the 
town of Newcastle. The other form gives name 
to Fobanagh, a parish in Galway, and to the town- 
land of Foghanagh in Roscommon, near the village 
of Ballymoe, both having the same signification as 
the preceding. 

As a termination, the word is found in Tonyfoh- 
anan in Monaghan, and Barrafohona in Cork, the 
mound {tonuagh) and hill-top (barr) of the thistles. 

Nettle. The simple word for the common nettle is 
neanta [nanta]. The forms assumed by this word 
in the end of names are easily detected, for they are 
generally nanta, nanty, or the single syllable nant. 
Cappananty is the name of a place in the parish of 
Corcomohide in Limerick ; and about three miles 
south-east of Limerick city is a place called Knock- 
ananty, the first siguifying the plot, and the second 
the hill, of the nettles. Near Kesh in Fermanagh, 
there is a townland called Ballynant, which has the 
same meaning as Ballynanty in Limerick, and 

CHAP. XIX. i The Vegetable Kingdom. 315 

Ballinauty in Wicklow, viz., the townland of the 

Rush. The most common word for a rush is 
luachair, which is the term now always used in the 
spoken language ; but the form generally found in 
local names is the genitive and plural, luachra. 
Near Cahir in Tipperary, there is a townland con- 
taining a castle in ruins and a modern residence, all 
bearing the very descriptive name of Loughlohery — 
Loch-luachra, the lake of the rushes, from a small 
lake within the demesne ; Grreaghnaloughry, north- 
east of Ballinamore in Leitrim, the greagh or moun- 
tain flat of the rushes ; Letterlougher in the parish 
of Upper Cumber in Derry, the rushy Idtev or wet 
hill-side. The simple word gives name to Loughry, 
i. e. rushes, or a rushy spot, the name of some places 
in Tyrone ; and to Lougher in Kerry and Meath : 
Loughermore in Antrim, Derry, and Tyrone, great 
rushy place. 

The bullrush is denoted by sihhin or siiiihiii 
[shiveen] ; the latter being the older form, for we 
find it in Cormac's Glossary : plural siinhjie [shiYna]. 
This word occurs frequently in local names. There 
is a river flowing near Mountbellew in Gralway, and 
joining the Suck a little south of Mount Talbot, 
called the Shiven — Irish Siiiihnc, the river of bull- 
rushes. Another little stream with the same Irish 
name runs through Tollymore Park, south of New- 
castle in Down ; but in this case the aspirated m 
is restored (1st Ser., Part I., c. ii), making the 
name Shimna. Cloonshivna in Gralway, and Tawna- 
nasheffin in Mayo, the meadow and the field of the 

Another term for a bullrush is feadh [fa] : in the 
north it is used to denote any strong rush, from 

316 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

which they make lights. It is not so common as 
the others ; but it gives name to Loughfea, a lake 
near Carrickmacross in Monaghan, the lake of the 
bullrushes ; and to Loughaunnavaag, with the 
same meaning, two miles from the village of Kil- 
connell in Galway. In this name the final dh is 
changed to g unaspirated, as is done in many other 

Flagger. The common marsh or river flag or flagger 
is called /iV^^sfffr or felest rom ; or without the/, eksfar 
or elestroin. This last form gives name to several 
places called Ellistrom ; but sometimes the m in the 
end is replaced by n (1st Ser., Part I,, c. in.), as we 
find in Ellistrin near Letterkenny in Donegal, and 
Ellistron near Ballinrobe in Mayo : — all these names 
meaning a place producing flaggers. In the north- 
ern counties the word usually takes an s in the 
beginning instead of the southern/; and the result- 
ing form gives name to Mullanshellistragh in the 
parish of Cleenish in Fermanagh, the little hill 
{muUan) of the flaggers ; and to Lisatilister near 
Carrickmacross in Monaghan, in which the .s is 
eclipsed by ^ — Lios-a'-tsiolastair, the fort of the 

lieed — Broom.. The word gioh or giokach [gilk, 
gilka : g hard] is used differently in difi'erent parts of 
Ireland. In the north and west it is generally applied 
to" a reed, in the south and east to the common 
broom ; but this assertion is liable to exceptions. In 
the townlaud of Gruilcagh, which gives name to a 
parish in Waterford, there is even yet a lively tradi- 
tion of the luxuriant growth of broom in former 
days. There is also a place called Guilkogli in the 
parish of Listerlin in Kilkenny ; Gilkagh is the name 
of a townland in the parish of Moylough in Galway, 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 317 

and of another place near Ballymoe in the same 
county ; and there is a townland called Gilykhill 
in the parish of Upper Cumber in Derry ; but in 
some of these cases the word points to a growth of 
reeds. The genitive form of this word is seen in 
Kilgilky near Cecilstown, west of Mallow in Cork, 
broom-wood {coill, wood). 

Sometimes this word is made in Irish cnilc or 
cuUceach, and these forms are also represented in 
anglicised names ; as in Garranakilka in Tipperary, 
the broom garden. In Ulster the word is often made 
gioItacJi, which gives name to two townlands called 
Griltagh in Fermanagh, one of which is called in the 
Grand Jury map of Devenish, " Giltagh or Broom- 

Herb. The word Inibh [luv, liv] ia applied to any 
herb ; the old form is lub, which is found in the Zeuss 
MSS., glossing. /v'^re.r ; and it is cognate with the A. 
Saxon leaf. When the word occurs in names — as 
it often does — we may conjecture that it was ap- 
plied originally to designate places which were par- 
ticularly rich in the smaller vegetable productions. 
It is usually anglicised Uff', but it often assumes 
other forms. Drumliff is the name of three town- 
lands in Cavan and Fermanagh, in Irish Druim-luihh, 
the ridge of the herbs ; while another form of the 
genitive (luibhean) is seen in Drumliffin near Carrick- 
on-Shannon in Leitrim, which has the same meaning 
as the preceding. Clonliff — herb-meadow — is a place 
very near Dublin city ; and there is a townland of 
the same name in the parish of Kinawly in Fer- 

This word combined with gort (an enclosed field) 
forms the compound lubh-ghoH [looart : loovartj, a 
garden — literally herb-plot : the old form is lubgort, 

318 The Vegetahk Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

as we find it in the Book of Armagh ; and luhgartoir 
glosses olitor in Zeuss (Gram. Celt. 37). The Cornish 
representative of this compound is luvort. It forms 
part of the name Knockalohert in the parish of Kil- 
brin, five miles west of Doneraile in Cork — Cnoc-a'- 
luhhghuirt, the hill of the garden ; and of Faslowart 
in Leitrim, near Lough Gill {fas, a wilderness) ; 
while in its simple form it gives name to Lohort near 
Cecilstown, west of Mallow, where there is an ancient 
castle of the MaeCarthys, restored and still used as a 

The diminutive of this compound is, however, in 
more common use than the original, viz., lubhghortdn 
[loortaun], which undergoes a great variety of 
changes in modern names. This is often incorrectly 
written lughhhortdn, even in good authorities, and 
the corruption must have been introduced very early, 
for Cormac states in his Glossary, that this was the 
form in use in his time. The Four Masters mention 
one place of this name, and use the corrupt form 
Liighbhiirddn ; this is now the name of a townland 
in the parish of Ballintober, Mayo ; and it is known 
by the anglicised name of Luffertaun. There is 
another townland called Luffertan a little west of 

A shorter form of the term is Lorton, which is the 
name of a hill within the demesne of Rockingham, 
near Boyle, from which Lord Lorton takes his title. 
In King's County the same name is made Lowerton; 
and it puts on a complete English dress in Lower- 
town, which is the name of four townlands in the 
counties of Cork, Mayo, Tyrone, and Westmeath. 

IIuss. Caonach [keenagh] is the Irish term for 
moss. Keenagh, one of its anglicised forms, which 
is applied to mossy land, is the name of several vil- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 319 

lages, townlands, and rivers, in Leinster, Connaught, 
and Ulster : there is a village of this name five miles 
north west from Ballymahon in Longford ; and 
Mosstown, the name of the adjacent demesne and 
residence, is intended to be a translation of the Irish. 
The diminutive Keenaghan, with the same applica- 
tion, is a townland name of frequent occurrence ; and 
another diminutive Keenoge is met with pretty often 
in some of the Ulster and Leinster counties. It is 
seen as a termination in Drumkeenagh in the parish 
of Cleenish, Fermanagh, and in Caherakeeny, five 
miles west of Tuam in dalway, the ridge and the 
caher or stone fort of the moss ; also in Carrivekeeny 
in Armagh, near Newry, and in Carrowkeeny in the 
parish of Kiltown in Roscommon, north west of 
Athlone, mossy quarter. 

Grass. The usual word for grass is fer ov feur; 
and while topographically it was sometimes used in 
its simple signification, it was also, in an extended 
sense, often applied to a meadow, a grassy place, 
or lea land. One usual anglicised form is fear, which 
is seen in Fearglass in Leitrim; in Ferbane the 
name of a village in King's County ; and in Fear- 
boy in the same county ; of which the first means 
green, the second whitish, and the third yellowish, 
grass-land. The adjective form Fearagh orFeragh, 
signifies a grassy spot, which is also the significa- 
tion of the diminutive Fearaun, in the parish • of 
Kilrush in Kildare. 

Sometimes the initial / disappears by aspiration, 
as we find in Lissanair in the paxish of Kilmihil in 
Clare ; Lios-an-f/ie/r, the fort of the grass. This is 
the ease in the word moinfheur [monairj, a mountain 
meadow ; literally bog-grass (nidin, bog) ; which is 
sometimes found forming a part of names ; such as 

320 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

Monairmore and Monearmore, the names of several 
townlands in Munster and Counaugbt, great meadow ; 
Ballinvonear near Doneraile in Cork, Baile-an- 
mhdinfheir, the town of the mountain meadow. 

In Donegal and Derry and some of the neighbour- 
ing counties, they use the word eiblds [evishj to de- 
signate coarse mountain pasture, synonymous with 
moncdr in the south ; and the word has become in- 
corporated in many place names ; such as Evish, 
two miles from Strabane ; Avish in Derry ; Evish 
hill over Glenariif in Antrim ; Evishacrow in the 
same neighbourhood, the mountain pasture of the cro 
or hut — the latter built no doubt to shelter the cattle ; 
Evishbreedy in Donegal, Brigid's pasture. 

Oruag means the hair of the head. Hence the 
word gruagach, a name ajDplied to a giant; this 
term being selected as marking a most noticeable 
feature of a giant, as he existed in the imagination 
of the people — viz. hairiness. This word, as well as 
the diminutive form gruagan, is also applied to a 
sort of fairy. In the county Antrim the fairy called 
grogan is a hairy fellow, low in stature, with broad 
shoulders, and " desperately strong." This is much 
the same as the popular idea of the " drudging gob- 
lin" that prevailed in England in the time of Milton, 
as he expresses it in L' Allegro : — 

" Then lies him down the lubber fiend, 
And stretclied out all the chimney's length, 
Basks at the fire his hairy strength.'''' 

This word gruag, by a natural extension of mean- 
ing, is applied to long hair-Vtke grass growing in a 
marshy or sedgy place ; and in this sense it often 
occurs in local names. Hence we have in various 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. ' 821 

parts of the country Grrogagli, Grogey, Grogan, 
Groggan, Grogeen and Gruig, all signifying sedge — 
a place i^roducing long sedgy grass. 

JJrla [oorla] signifying the hair of the head, is 
applied topographically in exactly the same second- 
ary sense as the preceding ; and gives name to Oorla 
near Foynes in Limerick, to TJrlee in the parish of 
Lisselton in the north of Kerry — a place of long 
grass ; and to Lissurland, three miles from Newcastle 
in Limerick, corrupted from Lissurlan, the fort of the 
long marshy grass. 

Cedhh or ceibh [keeve, cave] means a lock of hair ; 
it is given in Cor. Gl. as tlie equivalent of uria. 
Like the preceding words, it is applied to long grass 
that grows in morasses. There are townlands in 
Galway and Mayo called Cave, apparently an Eng- 
lish word, but in reality the phonetic representative 
of Ceihh : near Aliascragh in Galway, it takes the 
form of Keave. The adjective forms ciahhach and 
ciabhaigh, with the same general meaning — a marshy 
place producing long grass — gives name to Keevagh 
in Clare ; to Cavey in that part of the parish of Errigle 
Keeroge that lies in Tyrone ; and to Kivvy in Cavan 
and Leitrim. Culcavy near Hillsborough in Down, 
the hill-back {cul) of the long grass ; Cloghnakeava 
near Gort in Galway, and Hoscavey near the village 
of Beragh in Tyrone, the stone and the point of the 
long grass. Sometimes the word is pronounced db, 
genitive cibe [keeb, keeba : restoration of aspirated 
b : see 1st Ser. ; Part I. c. ii.] ; whence we have Mo- 
nakeeba near Thurles in Tipperary, the grassy bog. 
Moug also signifies the hair of the head, or a mane 
(Welsh miong, a mane) ; and like the three last terms, 
it is applied to long coarse grass, or to a sedgy place. 
From this we have Mong, Mongagh, Munga, Mon- 


322 The Vegctahk Kiugdoiu. [chap. xix. 

gan, Mongaun, Mungau, Mungaim, in yarious coun- 
ties, all meaning a morass, a wet place producing 
long, coarse, sedgy grass. There is a river called 
Mongagh, i. e. tlie sedgy river, flowing through the 
parishes of Castlelost and Oastlejordau in "Westmeath ; 
and one of the mountains near Nephin in Maj'o, is 
called Glenn among, the glen of the sedge, a name 
which was extended to the mountain from a glen. 

Dandelion. The Irish designated the dandelion 
by its most prominent quality, bitterness of taste ; 
for they commcmly called it searhJtan or searhhog 
[sharavaun, sharavoge] two diminutives from. swr/^//, 
bitter. In some places they call the plant cais-tsearhlt- 
cui [cosh 'tharvaun]— prefixing ca.9, twisted or curled, 
in reference to the form of the leaf, which causes the 
s to be eclipsed by t ; but I do not find this term in 
any local names. 

There is a place called Monej^sharvan two miles 
north of Maghera in Derry, which is in Irish, Moin- 
na-scarhJian, the bog of the dandelions ; and tlie 
word is used with an eclipse in the genitive singular, 
in Toberataravan, in the parish of Tumna, east of 
Boyle in Boscommon, Tobar-a'-tscarbhdin, dandelion 
well. The word searhliog has been already examined 
(p. 29) . It is found compounded in Pollsharvoge, 
in the parish of Meelick in Mayo, about four miles 
south-east of Foxford ; and in Gortnasharvoge in 
Roscommon, near Ballinasloe, the hole {poll) and 
the field {govt), of the dandelions. 

Sorrel. The common sorrel is produced plenti- 
fully everywhere in Ireland, and it has given names 
to great numbers of places. Its Irish name is sain/i- 
ad/i, pronounced scnia, saura, sou; according to 
locality ; the word undergoes a variety of changes, 
but it is easily recognised in all its forms. As it 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 323 

stands it gives name to tlie river Sow — the sorrel- 
produciug river — which falls into the estuary of the 
Slaney at Castlebridge, a little above Wexford; 
Sooey in the parish of Ball^'^nakill in Sligo, near the 
village of Riverstown, means sorrel-bearing land ; 
Garshooey, three miles west ofDerry, Garrdha-SfOitJi- 
aidh, sorrel garden ; Kilsough near Skerries in Dub- 
lin, CoUI-samJiach, sorrel wood. 

In the greater number of cases however, the s dis- 
appears, giving place to t by eclipse ; and the various 
forms it then assumes — none of them difficult of re- 
cognition — are illustrated in the following names. 
Curraghatawy in the parish of Drumreilly in Leitrim, 
near Ballinamore, Currach-a'-fsamhaidh, the marsh 
of the sorrel; and similarly Derrintawy in the same 
county, and Derreenatawy in Roscommon {dernj 
and derreen, oak wood) ; Carrowntawa and Carrown- 
tawy in Sligo [earrow, a quarter-land) ; and Curran- 
tavy in Mayo {eor, a round hill). In the parish of 
Kilmihil in Clare, there is a place called lUaunatoo, 
which is correctly translated by the (dkis name. Sorrel 
Island, while a residence in the townland has got the 
name of Sorrel House ; Knockatoo in Galway, sor- 
rel hill ; Carrigathou near Macroom in Cork, the 
rock of the sorrel. In the northern half of Ireland 
the V sound of the mh often comes out clearly ; as in 
Knockatavy in Louth, sorrel hill ; and in Ulster the 
m is often fully restored (see 1st Ser., Part I. e. ii.), 
as in Aghintamy near the town of Monaghan, 
Achadh-an-tsamliaidh, the field of the sorrel. 

Rue. The herb rue is denoted in Irish by what 
is in sound the same as the English word, namely 
ru or ruhha [rooa]. The word has nearly the same 
sound as rnadh, red ; and it is often difficult to de- 
termine to which of these two terms we are to refer 


324 The Vegelahle Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

a name. In a great many cases however, the old 
people make a clear distinction, and we may, with 
the usual cautions (see 1st Ser. Part I. c. i.) follow 
their guidance. Moreover, the names on the Ord- 
nance maps commonly tell their own story ; for those 
who determined the modern forms, generally distin- 
guished between the two words by anglicising ruad/i, 
roe, and ruhha, roo or )-iic. 

The Four Masters at the year 1599 mention a 
place near the abbey of Corcomroe in the north of 
Clare, called RabJia (rue or rue-land) ; it lies two 
miles west of the village of Kinvarra in Galway, 
and it is now called Eoo. Very near Roo House 
is the little hamlet of Corranroo, so called from an 
old carra or weir ; from this again the head of Augli- 
inisli bav. on whose shore the villao'e is situated, is 
called Corranroo Bay ; and adjacent to the hamlet is 
the peninsula of Inishroo — rue island. There are 
several otlier places scattered over the country called 
Roo, Rue, Rowe, and Roos (the English plural form), 
which have taken their names, not from their red 
colour, but from producing a plentiful growth of this 

Rowe in the parish ofKillare in Westmeath, is men- 
tioned in the Annals by the name linh/ia. The Ca- 
lendars mention a saint Tiu of liubha in the Ards, in 
the county of Down ; this old name is still preserved 
in the name of the townland of Rowreagh {reagJi, 
grey : ^^QJ rue-land) ; and in that of " Rubane 
House" adjoining it [bun, whitish) — both situated 
near the village of Kircubbiu. Rubha-Chonaill 
(Conall's rue-land) is mentioned by the Four Masters 
as the scene of several battles — one in a. d. 798; 
another in 1159. This place is situated two miles 
east of Mullingar ; its Irish name is pronounced Ru- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Verjcfable luiiffdoin. 325 

connell, wliicli sound is still retained by some of the 
old people ; but it is corruptly anglicised Eathconnell, 
which is now tlie name of a townland and parish. 
There is another place called liathconnell in Kildare ; 
but here the name means Connell's rath or fort. 
Gortaroo, the name of a place three miles from 
Youghal, on the left of the road to Cork, and Gorta- 
rowey in the parish of Drumcliff, north of Sligo town, 
both signify the field of the rue. 

Wall fern. The poli/jwdium vu/gare or wall fern 
is denoted by sgeamh [scav]. The simple word gives 
name to Drumnascamph in the parish of Clonduff in 
Down, Druim-na-sceaiii//, the ridge of the wall ferns. 
Its diminutive is seen in Carrigskeewaun in the 
parish of Kilgeever in Mayo ; and in Meenscovane 
in the parish of Duagli, Kerrj^ the former meaning 
the rock, and the latter the smooth plain, of the 
wall- ferns. 

Watercress. The ancient Irish used the watercress 
for food — probably much in the same way as it is used 
at the present day; for among the prerogatives of 
the king of Ireland, mentioned in the Book of Rights, 
are the cresses of the river Brosna in Westmeath. 
Biorar [birrer] is the word for watercress, and it is 
obviously derived from hior, water, by the addition 
of the collective termination r (p. 12). In the collo- 
quial language the middle r of this word is always 
changed to / by a common phonetic law, and it is 
consequently pronounced hUler. 

In Cork and Kerry there are several townlands 
called Billeragh — Irish Bioh:rach, a place producing 
cresses; in Donegal, Monaghan, and Tyrone, it 
takes the form Biliary, and in "Wexford, Bellary, 
both of which represent the oblique case hiolaraigh. 
In the end of names the h is commonly aspirated, and 

326 2Vie Vegetable Kingdom. [chap, xix. 

the word is tlien anglicised vilJer. There is a town- 
land in the parish of Killann in Wexford, taking its 
name from a little stream running down the eastern 
slope of the Blackstairs mountains, called Askinvil- 
lar — Irish Easc-an-hhiolair, the wet land, or tlie 
water-course of the cresses ; Toberaviller near the 
town of Wicklow, watercress well. 

Marsh inalloas. The simple form of the word de- 
noting marsh mallows is leamh [lav], or in old Irish 
lem, as we find it in the St. Gall MS. of Zeuss (Gram. 
Celt. p. 274). It is curious that the very same word is 
applied to the elm, and it is often therefore difficult 
to say which of the two plants is meant, when we 
find the term in names. It is probable that the words 
for marsh mallows and for elm are radically different, 
and have accidentally assumed the same form (see 
Max Miiller : Lectures on the Science of Language, 
2nd. Ser. p. 287). In modern Irish a difference in 
sound is made between the two words, which helps 
us to distinguish them one from another, Khen ice 
hear them pronounced. There is a peculiar nasal sound 
in the latter part of leanih, when it means marsh 
mallows, which it is impossible to indicate on paper ; 
but the pronunciation is not very different from lew ; 
and besides this, the term usually employed (for this 
plant) is not the simple form, but the derivative Icamh- 
ach, which is pronounced something like lewagh. 

Whatever amount of uncertainty there may be in 
the word, the following names may be referred, 
without much danger of error, to this plant, and not to 
the elm. In Kilkenny and Tipperary there are places 
called Leugh ; Lewagh is a townland near Thurles ; 
Leo is near Ballyhaiinis in Mayo ; Leoli in the parish 
of Donaghmore in Wicklow; Luogh, the name of a 
small lake and two townlands, near the cliffs of Mo- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 327 

her in Clare : — all these names were originally ap- 
plied to a place producing marsh mallows — and all 
show, in their modernised orthographj^ an attempt 
to represent the peculiar sound of the Irish. The word 
appears compounded in Eathnaleugh near the village 
of Rathdowney in Queen's County, the fort of the 
marsh mallows. 

Doch-kaf. The diminutive copog [cuppoge] is the 
word now always used for the common dock-leaf; 
but judging from some of the derivatives that follow, 
it would appear that the primitive cop and another 
diminutive copdn must have been in use at some for- 
mer time. The usual form (with the adjective suf- 
fix ach) is seen in Grlencoppogagh in the parish of 
Upper Bodoney in Tyrone, the glen of the dock- 
leaves ; and with the c eclipsed to g in Lagnagop- 
poge {lag, a hollow), a little south of Strangford in 
Down, and in Cloonnagoppoge in Mayo, dock-leaf 
meadow. This termination, goppoge or gappoge, is 
extremely common all over the country. From the 
root cop is formed copanach (by the addition of the 
diminutive and the adjective terminations), signify- 
ing a place abounding in dock-leaves, which, with 
very little change, is anglicised Coppanagh, the name 
of some places in Ulster, Counaught, and Leinster ; 
while the oblique form gives name to several town- 
lands called Copney and Copan}^, in Tyrone, Armagh, 
and Donegal. 

Garlic. The common wild garlic is denoted — 
among other words — by creamh [crav : craw], which 
in anglicised names appears as craff, crave, ci-eir, 
crainph, &o. Clooncraff, now a parish in Roscommon, 
and once a place of some ecclesiastical note, is often 
mentioned in the annals by the name of Cluaiii- 
creainlia, the meadow of wild garlic. There is a 

328 IVie Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xtx. 

townland of the same name not far from the town 
of Roscommon ; near Killucau in Westmeath, the 
name is varied to Clooncrave, and in Limerick to 
Cloncrew, which is the name of a parish. There is a 
little island in Lough Corrib opposite the castle of Car- 
gins, now called Inishcraff, which is often mentioned 
by the annalists, and called by them Inis-ciramha. 
O'Flaherty, in his account of lar Connaught, speaks 
of it in these words : — " Tniscreawa, or wild garlic 
isle .... where the walls and high ditcli of a well 
fortified place are still extant and encompass almost 
the whole island. Of this isle, Maeamh Insicreawa 
(the youth of InishcrafF), a memorable ancient ma- 
gician, as the}^ say, had his denomination." The 
walls mentioned by O'Flaherty, which are cyclopean 
in their character, still remain ; and the people say 
they are the remains of the fortress of Orbsen who 
gave name to Lough Corrib (see this in 1st Series). 

In the northern counties, the word is often angli- 
cised craiiijyh (like the change of dcou/i to damph, 
&c. — see 1st Ser. Part I. c. iii.), as in Derrycramph 
near the town of Cavan, the oak wood of the wild 
garlic, the same name as Derrycraff in Mayo, and 
Derrycrave in Westmeath. This change, with the 
eclipse of the c by g, is exhibited in Lrumgramph 
in Fermanagh, Monaghau, and Tja^one, JDruiin- 
gcrcamh, garlic ridge. 

Crcaiiih combined with coiU, wood, forms the com- 
pound cvcamhchoill [cravwhill : wild garlic wood], 
which undergoes many curious transformations in 
anglicised names, closely corresponding with the 
various forms of kamhchoUl (see Longfield in 1st 
Ser). One modification is Craffield, wliich is the 
name of a townland in Wicklow ; and v/e have 
Clooncrafheld (the meadow of the wild- garlic wood) 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kunjdom. 329 

near Castlerea in Eoscommon. There is a parit<li in 
Antrim called Cranfield, wliicli exhibits anotlier 
form : Colgan calls it by its correct Irish name, 
Cream h-eJioiU, but in a lease of 1683 it is written 
" Croghill alias Cranfield," showing that at that period 
the name was in process of change from an old and 
correct anglicised form, to what it is now. The 
townland of Cranfield also, which occupies the 
southern extremity of the barony of Mourne, and 
gives name to Cranfield Point at the entrance of 
Carlingford Lough, was formerly called Craughill 
(see Keeves : Eccl. Ant, p. 87). In Sligo this 
name becomes Crawliill, and in the parish of Ahogh- 
ill in Antrim, Crankill. 

It appears probable that the correct form of this 
word is cueaijih \^/n/ar: Jc and n both pronounced], 
and that this has been corrupted to eveamh like oioc 
to crock ; for we find ciieainh preserved in several 
names. Knavagh is the name of a townland in the 
parish of Tiranascragh, near the Shannon, north of 
Portumna in Galwaj^, wliich is the adjective form 
Cncamhach, a place producing wild garlic. In the 
parish of Inchicronan in Clare, one mile from the 
village of Crusheen, there is a townland called Drum- 
minacknew, which took the first part of its name from 
a low ridge or druminan. But this little hill — as in 
many other cases — after giving name to the town- 
land, got a new name itself, which however is a cor- 
rect translation of the old name ; and it is now 
called Garlic Hill. There is a place near Lismore iu 
Waterford called Curraghacnav, the garlic-producing 

Parsnip. The word meaeaii [mackan] is used to 
denote the taprooted plants ; and the several kinds 
are designated by means of distinguishing terms ; 

330 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

such as meacan-ragam, horse-radisli ; meacan-buklhe- 
an-tskibhe, the common spurge, &c. Taken without 
any qualifying term, however, the word is commonly 
understood to mean a parsnip, and I will translate it 
in this sense in the few names mentioned under the 
present heading. 

From this word are derived the names of all those 
places now called Mackan, Macknan, Mackanagh, 
Macknagh, and Mackney — the second the diminu- 
tive in aih, the three last the adjective form meacan- 
ach; all so called from producing in abundance 
parsnips or some other sort of tap-rooted plant — 
wild no doubt ; — Cloonmackan and Clonmackan, 
parsnip meadow ; Gortnamackan and Gortnamack- 
anee, the field of the parsnips. 

Wood; forest. The word /of har [foliar] is given 
by Peter O'Connell in his dictionary, as meaning a 
forest ; and he also gives the plural iovmfoithre. It is 
a term often met Avitli in Irish writings, though it 
is not given in the dictionaries of O'Brien and 
O'Reilly. In ancient times there was a woody dis- 
trict to the north-west of Birr in King's County, 
which is called in the annals, Futhar-Bcalbhnach , i. e. 
the forest of Delvin, from the old district in which 
it was situated ; and though this great wood has 
long since disappeared, its name and memory are 
preserved in the townland of Ballaghanoher, half- 
way between Birr and Banagher, which correctly 
represents the sound of the old name, as the Four 
Masters write it, Bealacli-an-fliotJtalr, the road of 
the forest. 

The Avord more commonly occurs, liowever, in the 
plural form foithre [fihra, fira, fweera], which is 
often understood to mean underwood, or copse, or 
forest land, and is anglicised in several ways. Gort- 

ciJAP. XIX.] TJie Vegctahle KiiKjdoni. 331 

nafira, in the parish of Mogeely in Cork, not far 
from tlie village of Tallow, signifies the field of the 
underwood. There is a townland near the village 
of Ferbane in King's County, which gives name to 
a parish, now called Wheery, but locally pronounced 
Ficcclira, which is a correct anglicised representation 
of Foithr<\ woods ; and from this also is named the 
townland of Curraghwheerj^ the marsh of "Wheery. 
In the parish of Kilbelfad in Mayo, south-west of 
Ballina, on the shore of Lough Conn, this name is 
found in the form of Wherrew ; and in Kerry the 
idea of plurality is conveyed by the addition of the 
s of the English inflection, forming Fieries, the name 
of two places, one in the parish of Molahiffe, four 
miles from Miltown, and the other near Castleisland. 

Five-wood. Conadh [conna] signifies firewood : old 
form as given in Cor. Gl. condud : "Welsh cynnud. 
The word has been used in this sense from very 
early times, for we find connadh, " fire-bote," men- 
tioned in the Book of Rights as a portion of the 
tribute of the unfree tribes of Leinster to the king 
of that province. It occurs very often in names ; 
and it was no doubt applied to places where there 
was abundance of withered trees and bushes, the 
remains of a decayed wood or shrubber3^ 

The word takes several modern forms, which will 
be understood from the following examples. In the 
Four Masters, and also in the " Annals of Ireland," 
translated for Sir James "Ware by Duald Mac Firbis, 
itis recorded at theyear 144:5, that Lynagh Mageogh-, 
eghan was slain at a place called ColU-an-chonaldh, 
the wood of the " fire-bote :" the place is situated in 
the parish of Kilcumreragh in AVestmeath, and it 
is now called Killyconny. There is another place 
of the same name in Cavan, and a village called 

332 TJie Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

Kilconny, also in Cavan— this last having the same 
signification. Other forms are seen in Drummina- 
cunna near Cappagh white in Tipperary {dritiuiiiiii, 
a low hill) ; also in Monej^coney west of Draperstown 
in Derrj^ and in Monachunna in tlie parish of Dun- 
namaggan in Kilkenny, the former signifying the 
shrubbery, and the latter, the bog, of the firewood. 
In Cork and Kerry, the final dh is often changed to 
g (as in many other cases), which is fully pro- 
nounced ; as we see in Clooncunnig in Cork, the 
same as Clooncunna, Clooncunny, and Cloonconny 
in other counties, all meaning fire-wood meadow. 
And lastly by the aspiration of the c to //, the word 
is frequently anglicised //o)ifi/, which is a pretty 
common termination, especially in the north ; as in 
Drumhoney near Irvinestown in Fermanagh, fire- 
wood ridoe. 

Sttiwp or sfalr. The word smut, and its diminu- 
tive sinutdii, are used to denote a log, a stake, a 
stump of a tree. This is a pretty common element in 
names ; and I suppose it was applied to places where 
some of the branchless stumps of an old wood, or 
some one remarkable trunk, still remained standing. 
Some thing like this last must have been the case in 
Smuttanagh near Balla in Mayo, which is called in 
Ily Fiachrach, Baik-an-smotdin, the town of the 
stock or trunk ; but the modern form, Smuttanagh, 
means a ploce full of trunks. The word appears in 
its simple form in Clashnasmut a little north of 
Carrick-on-Suir, the clash or trench of the trunks. 
But the diminutive is more common. There is a 
townlancl in Mayo, and another in Tipperary, called 
Gortnasmuttaun, the field of the stakes. Ballj'- 
smuttan (town of the tree-trunks) is a well-known 
place on the river Liffey, near Blessington ; Toor- 

nHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 333 

smnttaim in Galway (fuar, a bleachfield) ; Coola- 
smuttane uear Charleville in Cork, and Lissasmut- 
taun near Portlaw in Waterford, the angle {cuil) 
and tlie lis or fort, of the trunk. 

Another word for h tree-stock, stake or block, is ceap 
[cap], which is often used and applied in much the 
same sense as SDiuf : cognate with Lat. cippiis, a sharp 
stake, and with Welsh c//Jf, a trunk. It generally 
appears in the anglicised form /,-ij), wliicli represents 
the genitive cij). In 1573, a battle was fought be- 
tween two parties of the O'Briens of Tliomond, at a 
place which the Four Masters call Bel-an-cJtip, the 
(ford-)mouth of the tree-trunk; the name is now 
Knockakip, whicli is applied to a hill on the sea- 
shore near Lahinch in the County Clare. There 
was an old ford over the Shannon, uear Carrick-on- 
Shannou, which is mentioned several times in the 
annals, by the name of Ath-an-cliip, a name having 
the same meaning as Bcl-an-chip. It is probable 
that a large trunk of a tree stood near each of 
these fords, and served as a mark to direct travellers 
to the exact crossing. What gave name to I{.ippure 
mountain, from the slopes of which the rivers Liffey 
and Dodder run down to the Dublin plain, it is now 
hard to say with certainty ; but probably it was so 
called from the remains of some large old yew, for 
the name exactly represents Cip-iuhhair, the trunk 
of the yew tree. Coolkip near Holycross in Tippe- 
rary, and Coolakip in Wexford, both mean the 
corner of the trunk. 

The c is often changed to g by eclipse, and then 
the word becomes gap in anglicised names. Grort- 
nagap is the name of a townland near Tullaroan in 
Kilkenny ; and there is another called Askanagap 
in the parish of Moyne in Wicklow— the former 

334 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

meaning the field (goH) and the latter the wet land 
{easga) of the trunks. Kippeen {cipiii, little stick), 
one of the diminutives of this word, is well-known 
by all people liaving- any knowledge of Ireland, as 
a popular term for a shillelagh or cudgel : it gives 
name (though not exactly in this sense) to Kippin 
in Westmeath ; also to Kippinduff in the same 
county, and Kippeen duff (black little trunk) near 
the villnge of Clara in King's Countj^ 

Tliorn. Bcalg [clallog] means literally a thorn ; 
but in a secondary sense it is applied to a pin or 
brooch. It occurs in names in the forms dallig, del- 
lig, dollig, &c., but always in the primary sense of 
a thorn or a thorn bush. There is a townland called 
Moneydollog near Ahoghill in Antrim, the Irish 
name of wliich is Muine-dealg, the thorny shrubbery ; 
and Kildellig (church of the thorns) is the name of a 
parish in Queen's County. 

Wlien this word comes in as a termination, the d 
often becomes eclipsed by ;?, as in Reennanallagane 
in the parish of Glanbehy in Kerr}^, which also ex- 
hibits a diminutive of the word under consideration, 
Rinn-na-j)dealgdn, the point of the little thorn- 
bushes. The plural form is seen in Delliga, near the 
village of Milford, in the parish of Kilbolane in Cork, 
which the Four Masters v.'rite Delge, i.e. thorns ; and 
in Delligabaun in the parish of Aghaboe in Queen's 
County, Avhitish thorn-bushes. 

Brier or bramble. The word dreas or dris [drass, 
drish] is used in very old documents to signify a brier 
or bramble of any kind ; but the diminutive driseog 
[drishoge] is the term now commonly employed, and 
it is usually applied to a brier, or a blackberry bush, 
or any bramble. Our local nomenclature exhibits a 
great variety of derivatives from the word diu's. Tliree 

CHAP. XIX.] The Vegetable Kingdom. 335 

diminutives as well as the primitive, give names to 
places ; but they are applied topographically, uot to 
a single bramble, but rather to a brake of briars or 
a brambly place. 

The river Drish (brambly river) joins the Suir 
near Thurles. Drishane on the Black water near Mill- 
street in Cork, is well known as one of the former seats 
of the M'Carthj^s, where the ruin of their castle still 
remains, from which the parish has its name ; and 
there are several other places of the same name in 
Cork and Tipperary. Another diminutive gives 
name to Drisheen, a little west of Skibbereen in 
Cork : a third, Drishoge, is the name of several 
places in Dublin, Roscommon and Tipperary, which 
assumes in Meath and Carlow, the form Drissoge, 
and changes to Dressoge in Fermanagh and Tyrone. 

There are several other derivatives, which are also 
applied in the same sense as the preceding — to a 
brambly place. Drishaghaun — a diminutive of the 
adjective form driseaeh — is the name of sistownlands 
in Roscommon, Galway, and Mayo ; while we have 
Dresnagh, the name of a place a mile from Castle- 
finn in Donegal, formed from the primitive dreashy 
the addition of the suffix iidch (see p. 6). Drister- 
nan and Dresternan, which occur frequently in the 
north-western counties, exhibit the compound ter- 
mination }-ndn (p. 41) ; but I cannot account for the 
t except as a mere euphonic insertion. Similarly, we 
have with rnach (p. 16) Dresternagh near Ballyhaise 
in Cavan; which with the change of d to t, becomes 
Tristernagh, the name of a well known j^lace on the 
shore of Lough Iron in Westmeath. Dressogagh, 
an adjective from one of the diminutives, is the name 
of two townlands in Armagh. 

It is perfectly easy to recognise this word in all its 

336 The Vegetable Kingdom. [chap. xix. 

forms when it occurs as a termination. The_ simple 
form appears in Gortnadrass near Achonry in Sligo, 
the briar field ; and in Kildress, a parish in Tyrone, 
tlie church of the brambles ; so also Ardrass in Ma3'0 
aud Kilclare, and Ardress near Loughgall in Ar- 
magh, Ard-dreas, the height of the brambles. 

Salloic. If the Irish distinguished, in their tongue, 
the different species of sallow one from another, these 
distinctions do not appear in that part of the language 
that has subsided into local names; for the v;ovdsuil 
[saul] is used to designate all the different kinds — 
cognate with Lat. sa/ix, and with Manx shell, and 
Welsh hehjij, willows. 

Solloghod, now a parish in Tipperary, derives its 
name from this tree; and for tliis etj'mology we have 
the authority of Cormac MacCullenan. He states in his 
Glossary that Salchoit, as he writes the name, conies 
from sal, the sallow, and eoif^ a Welsh word for wood ; 
and he further tells us that a large wood of sallows 
grew there ; but of this tliere is not a trace remain- 


This word has a great variety of derivatives, and 
all give names to places in various parts of the coun- 
try. The simple word sail is seldom heard, the ad- 
jective form sail each and tlie diminutive saileogh&m^ 
now universally used to designate the plant. The 
former is anglicised sillagJi, silla, and sallagh in the 
end of names, and the latter silloge and silloga. Both 
are exemplified in Corsillagh near Newtown Mount- 
kennedy in Wicklow, and in Corsilloga in the parish 
of Aghnamullen in Monaghan, each signifying the 
round hill of the sallows. Lisnasallagh, the fort of 
the sallows, is tlie name of two townlands in Cork, 
and of one near Saintfield in Down ; while the same 
name is found in Eoscommon in the form Lisnasil- 

CHAP. XIX.] The Veyctahle KbHjdo)ii. 337 

lagh ; Currasilla in Tipperaiy and Kilkenny, tlie 
curragh or marsli of the osiers. 

There are several diminutives, from one of which, 
Sj'laun (a place of sallows), the name of some places 
in Galway is derived. Tooreennasillane near Skib- 
bereen in Cork, signifies the little bleach-field of the 
osiers ; Cloonsellan is the name of some townlands in 
Long-ford and lioscommon (c/oo;/, ameadov/); and 
there is a considerable lake near Shercock in Cavan, 
called Lough Sillan, the osier-produciug lake. Other 
derivatives are exhibited in Sallaghan in Cavan and 
Leitrim, and Sallaghy in Fermanagh, all meaning 
a place of sallows or osiers. 

Sometimes the s is changed to t by eclipse, as in 
Kiltallaghan in the parish of Killamery in Kilkenny, 
and Kiltillahan near Carnew in "Wexford, both of 
which would be written in Lish CoiIl-fsaikachdi)i, the 
wood of the sallows, the same as Kilsallaghan, the 
name of a parish near Swords in Dublin. In these 
three names there is a combination of the adjective 
termination ach and the diminutive ciii. The ellipse 
also occurs along with the diminutive in og in Kyle- 
tilloge, in the parish of Aghaboe, Queen's County, 
which has the same signification as Kilsallaghan. 

Fir. GiuinJias [guse : g hard] denotes a fir tree. 
In some parts of the country the word is in constant 
use, even when the people are speaking English ; for 
the pieces of old deal timber dug up from bogs, 
which they use for firing, and sometimes for light 
in place of candles, are known by the name of geicsh. 

This tree has not given names to many places, 
which would appear to show that in former times it 
was not very abundant ; and when it does occur it 
may be a question in any individual case, whether 
the place was so called from the living tx^ee or from 


338 The Vegetable Kinfjdom. [chap. xix. 

bog- deal. In the parish of Moore in Roscommon, 
there is a townland called Cappayuse — Ccapach- 
ghiumhaifi (g changed to y by aspiration), tlie garden 
plot of the fir. The name of Monagoush near Ard- 
more in Waterford, indicates that the bog {moin) 
supplied the people with winter stores of gewnh ; in 
Meenagnse near Inver in Donegal {mccn, a moun- 
tain meadow) the fir is still taken out of the bog ; 
and we may probably account in the same way for 
the name of Lough Ayoosy, a little lake five miles 
south-west from Crossmolina in Mayo, and of an- 
other small lake — Lough Aguse— two miles from 

Arbutus. The arbutus grows in most parts of 
Ireland, though it is generally a rare plant ; it is 
plentiful, however, in parts of Cork and Kerry, 
especially about Killarney and Glengarriff, where 
it flourishes in great luxuriance. Some think 
that it was brought to Ireland from the con- 
tinent by monks, in the early ages of Christian- 
ity ; but it is more generally believed to be indi- 
genous ; and it appears to me a strong argument 
in favour of this opinion, that we have a native 
term for it. The Irish call it caithne [cahma] ; and 
in the neighbourhood of the Killarney lakes, this 
word is known, but veiled under a thin disguise ; 
for even the English speaking people call the berries 
of the arbutus ca?V«-apples, though few or none of them 
suspect how this name took its rise. Moreover this 
name has been long in use ; for Threlkeld, who 
wrote his " Synopsis Stirpium Hibernicarum " in 
1727, notices it, and recognises it as an anglicised 
form of caithne. 

The arbutus has not given name to many places. 
The wood at the back of the Eagle's Nest near Kil- 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kuujdom. 339 

larnej, is called Calmicaun (see p. 19) or arbutus 
wood ; and the stream that flows from Barley lake 
down to Glengarriif, is named Owenacahina, the river 
of the arbutus. The Irish name of the village of Smer- 
wick near Dingle in Kerry, which is still used, is 
A)'d-na-caithne (now pronounced Ardnaconuia), the 
height of the arbutus. Isknagahiny is the name of 
a small lake near Lough Currane in Kerry, five 
miles north-east of Darrynane : — £isc-na-gcait/uie,i\ie 
stream-track of the arbutus trees. 

In Clare and the west of Ireland, the name of this 
tree is a little different, viz., cuinche, pronounced 
very nearly qucenha ; this form is found as the name 
of a village and parish in Clare, now shortened to 
Quin, where Sheeda Macnamara founded an abbey 
in 1402, the ruins of which are yet to be seen. The 
Four Masters, who mention it several times, call it 
Cuinche, arbutus or arbutus land ; and this ancient 
name is correctly anglicised Quinchy in Carlisle's 
Topograpliical Dictionary, and Quinine in the Down 
Survey, this last being almost identical in sound 
with the western name of the arbutus. In the same 
parish is a townland now called Feaghquin, but 
written in an old quit rent ledger, Feaghquinny, i. e. 
arbutus land. One of the many islands in Clew 
bay, a very small one, is called Qainsheen, a diminu- 
tive form signifying little arbutus island. 



GohL It appears certain that gold and silver 
mines were worked in this country from the most 

z 2 

340 Tlie Mlncval Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

remote antiquity ; and that these precions metals — ■ 
especially gold — were found anciently in much 
greater abundance than they have been in recent 
times. Our oldest traditions record not only the 
existence of the mines, but also the names of the 
kings who had them worked, and even those of the 
artificers. According to the bardic annals, the 
monarch Tighernmas [Tiernmas : about 1000 j^ears 
B. C], was the first that smelted gold in Ireland, 
and covered with it drinking goblets and brooches ; 
the mines were situated in the Foifhre, the v/oods 
or woody districts (see p. 330), east of the Lifi'ey ; 
and the artificer was Uchadan, who lived in Fcrcua- 
!(()}, that part of Wicklow lying round Powerscourt. 
Whatever amount of truth there may be in this old 
legend, it proves very clearly that the Wicklow gold 
mines were as well known in the far distant ages of 
antiquity as they were in the end of the last century, 
when the accidental discovery of a few pieces of gold 
in the bed of a stream, revived the long lost knowledge, 
and caused such an exciting search for several years. 
This stream, which is now called the Gold mine 
river, flows from the mountain of Croghan Kinshella, 
.and joins the Ovoca pear the Wooden Bridge hotel. 
On account of the abundance of gold in Wicklow in 
old times, the people of Leinster sometimes got the 
name of Laigliniqh-an-oir, the Lagenians of the gold 
(O'Curry, Lect.L, 5). 

Several other early kings are celebrated for hav- 
ing introduced certain golden ornaments, or made 
the custom of wearing them more general. And 
Irish literature abounds in allusions to golden 
bosses, brooches, pins, armlets, crowns, c^c. In later 
and more authentic annals, we have records also 
which show that gold was every where within reach 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kingdom. 341 

of the wealthy, and used by them in numerous works 
of art. 

The general truthfulness of these traditions and 
records is fully borne out by the great quantities of 
manufactured gold found in various parts of the 
country ; and whoever looks on the fine collection 
in the Royal Irish Academy, which, rich as it is, is 
onlj^ a small remnant of our ancieut golden orna- 
ments, will be scarcely prepared to discredit the 
ancient accounts. These ornaments moreover are 
not alloyed — the gold is absolutely pure, as far as 
the old gold workers were able to make it so. And 
this universal purity, and the corresponding richness 
of colour, gave rise to the expression derg-or — red 
gold — which occurs so often in Irish writings, both 
ancient and modern. 

The Irish v/ord for gold is or [ore], cognate with 
Latin aui-uni, and Welsh aui'. It enters into the 
formation of a considerable number of names of 
places, in each of which we must conclude that gold 
in some shape or another was formerly found. In 
many of these places traditions are current of the 
former presence of gold, and in some it is found at 
the present day. Near the village of Cullen, on the 
borders of Limerick and Tipperary, there is a bog 
which has been long celebrated for the Cjuan titles of 
manufactured gold found in it. For the last 150 
years, innumerable golden articles of various kinds 
have been dug up from the bottom of this bog, as 
well as many of the implements used by the old 
goldsmiths in their work, such as crucibles, bronze 
ladles, &c. ; from which it is probable, as O'Curry 
remarks, that this place was ancientl}'' — long before 
the bog was formed, -and when the land was clothed 
with wood — inhabited by a race of goldsmiths, who 

342 The 3Iineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

carried on the manufacture there for generations. 
0' Curry, in a portion of a very interesting lecture, 
has endeavoured to identify the goldsmiths of this 
place with a race of artificers, who, according to their 
genealogy as given in the Book of Leinster, were 
descended immediately from Olioll Olum, king of 
Munster, and who followed the trade uninterruptedly 
for seven generations, from about A.D. 300 to 500 
(Lectures, III., 205). It may be added that the bog 
of Culleu is proverbial all over Munster for its 
riches : — 

" And her wealth it far outshines, 
Cullen's bog or Silvermines." 

(See " The Enchanted Lake" in Crofton Croker's 
" Fairy Legends"). 

The celebrated fort of Dunanore, in Stnerwick 
Bay in Kerry, was correctly translated Fort-del-or 
(fort of the gold), by the Spaniards, who landed and 
fortified themselves in it in 1580. The Four Masters 
call it in one passage Dun-an-oir, and in another 
Oilen-an-oir (island of the gold), of which the 
former name shows that the rock must have been 
originally occupied by a circular dun or fort. As to 
why it was called the Fort of Gold, there are several 
opinions and traditions, none of which seem either 
sufficient to explain it, or worthy of being recorded. 
Another name like this is Casheloir (caisca/, a stone 
fort), applied to a fine circular fort of the most ancient 
Cyclopean masonr}^, lying near the village of Ballin- 
togher in Sligo, three miles from Drumahaire. 

One of the various ways in which a place may 
have derived its name from gold is illustrated in the 
account of the death of Lewy Mac-Con, king of 
Ireland in the second century. It is stated that on 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kingdom. 343 

one occasion this king was at a place called Govt- 
aii-oir (neax Berg-rath : seep. 311), standing with his 
back against a pillar stone, engaged in the royal 
occupation of distributing gold and silver to the poets 
and learned men of Ireland. A certain poet named 
Ferchas, the son of Coman, who lived at a place 
called Ard-na-Gcmlcch (height of the fetters), other- 
wise called Cnocach {i.e., hilly place), when he 
heard how the king was occupied, entered with 
some others into the assembly, with a kind of javelin 
called a rincne in his hand, which he drove with one 
thrust through the king's body, so that it struck the 
pillar stone at the other side ; and Mac-Con died 
immediately. It is added that " Gort-aii-oir (field of 
the gold) has been the name of that place ever since ; 
and it has been so called from the quantity of gold 
distributed there by the king to the bards and 
ollamhs of Ireland." This place, whicli is well known, 
and still retains the name of GrortaDore, is situated 
just near the fort of Derrygrath, in the parish of the 
same name, four miles nearly east of Cahir in Tip- 
perary ; and the poet's residence has left the name 
of Knockagh on a townland in the immediate 

In the legendary account of tlie origin of the name 
of the ancient principality of Oriel (originally com- 
prising the territory now occupied by the counties of 
Monaghan, Armagh, and Louth), we have another 
illustration. This kingdom was founded by the 
three CoUas in the year 332 ; and it is stated that one 
of their stipulations with the neighbouring kings was 
that whenever it should be found necessary to fetter a 
hostage from their newly-formed principality, chains 
of gold should be used for the purpose. Hence the 
name — used in all our authorities — Oir-ghialla [Ore- 

344 The Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

yeela] golden hostages, which has been modernised 
to the form Oriel. 

In everj case I know of, the word 6)\ and its 
genitive o/r, take the form of ore in anglicised names ; 
but it must be remembered that this syllable ore 
occasionally represents other words, as for instance 
uahhar, pride. 

In the parish of Feakle in Clare, near Lough 
Grraney, there is a townland taking name from a 
hill, called Slieveanore — SIiabh-an-6ir, the mountain 
of the gold ; and there is a mountain of the same 
name a little west of Carrantuohill, the highest of 
the Reeks in Kerry ; while we have Kuockanore — 
golden hill — the name of places in Oavan, Kilkenny, 
and Waterford (but Knockanore near Kerry Head, 
at the mouth of the Shannon, is Cnoc-an-uiihJtdir, the 
hill of pride) ; and Tullynore near Hillsborough in 
Down, the little hill {tiilach) of the gold. At the 
base of the hill of Mullaghmesha between Lantry 
and D unman way in Cork, there is a small pool 
called Coomanore {ciuu, a hollow among mountains); 
Laganore, near Clonmel in Tipperarj^ has much the 
same meaning {hig, a liollow) ; and Glananore — 
golden glen — is the name of a place near Castle- 
townroche in Cork. 

Silver.— Ks in case of gold, we have also very 
ancient les^ends about silver. Our old histories 
tell us that king Enna AirgtheacJi, Avho reigned about 
a century and a half after Tigheaminas, was the first 
that made silver shields in Ireland, which he distri- 
buted among his chieftain friends. The legend 
goes on to say that they were made at a place called. 
Argetros or Silverwood, situated in the parish of 
Rathbeagh on the Nore in Kilkenny, which 
was said to derive its name from those silver 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kingdom. 345 

shields. Rosargid, whicli lias the same meaning, was, 
according to O'Dugan, the ancient name of a place 
near Toomyvara in Tipperaiy ; but the name has 
not reached our day. 

The Irish word for silver is airgeat [arrigit] ; it is 
cognate with the Latin argentnm, and with Sanscrit 
ragafa, all being derived from a root arg or rag, sig- 
nifying white or shining (Pictet). As silver is the 
standard of value, the word airgeat is, and has been 
for a long time, the common Irish word for money. 
It is generally easy to detect the word in local 
names ; for its modern forms do not often depart 
from what Avould be indicated by the Irish pronun- 
ciation. Three miles from Ballycastle in Antrim, 
there is a place called Moyarget, the field or plain 
(magh) of silver ; Cloonargid, silver meadow, is the 
name of a place in the parish of Tibohine, Roscom- 
mon, five miles south-west from Ballaghaderreen, 
which is correctly translated Silverfield in the name 
of a residence in the townland. There are many 
small lakes through the country called Lough 
Anargid and Lough Anargit (Loch-an-airgif, lake of 
the silver) ; one for instance in Galway, and another 
eight miles north of the town of Donegal, over 
which rises the "Silver Hill," which was so called 
from the lake. Whether these lakes took their names 
from a tradition of money having been buried or found 
in them, or from tlieir silvery brightness, like the river 
Arigideen in Cork (see p. 69), it is difficult to tell. 

It is certain, as I have already stated, that many 
of the names in the foregoing part of this chapter 
indicate that, at some past time, gold or silver Was 
dug from the earth, or found in the beds of streams, 
at the particular places. But this is not tlie orjo-in 
of all such names ; and there is good reason to 

346 The Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

believe that a considerable number of them origi- 
nated in treasure legends. There is scarcely any 
class of superstitions more universal, or that have 
taken more firm hold of the imagination of the 
people, than those connected with hidden treasure ; 
and no wonder, for there are few, from a lord to a 
peasant, who would not be delighted to find a crock 
filled with old coins of gold and silver. Legends 
about hidden treasure abound in our popular litera- 
ture,* and we must not wholly disbelieve them ; for 
in all ages of the world, especially in times of turbu- 
lence or war, people have been in the habit of bury- 
ing in the ground hoards of money and other 
valuables, on any sudden emergency or danger ; and 
what one man hides and leaves behind him, is gene- 
rally found out sooner or later by some one else. 

That it has not been reserved for the people of our 
day to fall in for such pieces of good fortune, is 
shown by many old records : and as one example 
we find it stated in the " Tribes and Customs of Ily 
Many" (pp. G3-4-5) that among other emoluments, 
the king of Connauglit ceded to the people of Hy 
Many " the third part of every treasure found hidden 
or buried in the depths of the earth." 

In almost all the countries of Europe hidden trea- 
sure is popularly believed to be guarded by super- 
natural beings ; and to circumvent them by cun- 
ning, or by some other more questionable agency, 
is the grand study of money seekers. In .Ireland 
the fairies are usually the guardians ; and they are 
extremely ingenious in devising schemes to baffle 
treasure seekers, or to decoy or frighten them from 
their pursuit. The antiquity of this superstition is 
proved by a curious passage in the " Wars of the 

*See Crofton Croker's " Fairy Legends." 

CHAP. XX. I The Mineral Kingdom. 347 

Irish with the Danes," a document as old as the 
eleventh centuiy. The writer is describing the rob- 
beries perpetrated by the Danes, and their iDgenuity 
in finding out hidden hordes of valuables, and he 
says : — " There was not in concealment under ground 
in Erin, nor in the various solitudes belonging to 
Fians (i.e. ancient heroes : see 1st Ser. Part II. c. i.) 
or to fairies, anything that was not discovered by 
these foreign, wonderful Denmarkians, through 
paganism and idol worship" — meaning " that not- 
withstanding the potent spells emjoloyecl by the Fians 
and fairies for the concealment of their hidden trea- 
sures, the Danes, by their pagan magic and the dia- 
bolical power of their idols, were enabled to find them 
out" (Todd, in note, p. 115). 

I have seen in various parts of Ireland the marks 
of treasure-seekers' work in old raths, castles, and 
abbeys, and many a fine old ruin has been sadly di- 
lapidated by their nightly explorations. 

It is probable that from legends of this kind some 
of the preceding names are derived, and others like 
them ; and a similar origin may in all likelihood be 
assigned to the following : in most of tliese places 
indeed stories of adventurous searches after treasure 
are still told by the people. Lisanargid, Lisheenan- 
argid, and Eathargid (all signifying the fort of silver 
or of money) are names of very frequent occurrence ; 
Scartore — the scart or thicket of gold — is a place 
near Dungarvan in "Waterford ; and there is a town- 
land called Cloghore — stone of gold — in the parish 
of Kilbarron in Donegal, near Belleek. 

Iron. We know that among the people of Europe, 
weapons and instruments of stone were used in war, 
and in the arts of every-day life, long before the 
time of historical records ; and that stone was super- 

348 TJie Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

sedecl by bronze, and bronze by iron. It is believed 
that the change from one material to another was 
very gradual ; that stone continued in use long after 
the introduction of bronze ; and that for a period of 
unknown duration, bronze and iron were used con- 
temporaneously, till the former was gradually relin- 
cpiished as the latter became more plentiful. 

When it was that iron mines began to be worked 
in this country, our annals or traditions do not in- 
form us. It is certain that the metal was known 
amongst us from the earliest period to which Irish 
history or tradition reaches ; for we find it repeatedly 
mentioned in our most ancient tales, romances, and his- 
torical tracts, as being the material from which were 
made defensive armour, and weapons of various kinds, 
such as clubs, spears, swords, &c. In the Book of Rights, 
which refers to a very early period of society, we find 
mentioned among the tributes due to the king of 
Conuaught, " seven times fifty masses of iron" (p. 
1 05). It is curious that the word used for " masses" 
is fioei'a, i. e, sheep; a "sheep" of iron corresponding 
to the term " pig'' used at the present day. 

All this shows that some progress must have been 
made in very early times in the art of raising and 
smelting ore ; but as to the particular methods em- 
ploj'ed, or to what extent the iron mines of the coun- 
try were utilised by the native Irish, our literature 
does not, on the whole, give us much information. In 
the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, 
iron mines were extensively worked, chiefly by the 
Anglo-Irish lords ; and the vast consumption of tim- 
ber in smelting was one of the main causes of the de- 
struction of the great forests. 

The Irisli word for iron is not very different from 
the English: — iarann, old Irish form iavn [both pro- 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kiitgdoni. 349 

noimced eeran], and the word exists in various forms 
ill Welsh and in several of the nortliern languages ; 
sucli as Grothic cixarn, old High Grerman isani ; 
Angl.-Sax. ircn, Welsh licyrn. We have numerous 
names formed from this word, indicating the spots 
where the ore was found ; and some of them are mixed 
up with our earliest traditions. Thus theannals reckon 
LoeJb-niaini (the lake of iron) among the nine lakes 
which burst forth in the time of Tif/fieannnas (see p. 
340) ; and this lake, which is situated in Westmeath, 
still retains the name, modernised to Lough Iron. 
According to tradition the iron mines of Slieveanierin, 
east of Lough Allen in the county of Leitrim {Sliab/i- 
CDi-iairn, Four M., the mountain of iron) were worked 
by Goihnen the great Tuatha De Danaiiii smith ; and 
it is now as celebrated for its iron ore as it was when 
it got the name, long ages ago. 

In a few cases the Irish term is simply changed to 
the English word iron ; as in Derryiron (oak grove 
of iron) in the parish of Ballyburly, five miles from 
Philipstown in King's County. But it more com- 
monly assumes other forms. Toberanierin is a place 
five miles from Grorey in Wexford, well known as 
one of the battle-fields of 1798 :— Tohav-an-iarainn^ 
the well of the iron. One of the hills rising over 
Glenmalure in Wicklow, is called Fananierin, the 
-fan or slope of the iron. In the parish of Clonder- 
mot, about three miles from Londonderry, is a town- 
land called Currynierin {currach, a marsh); and with 
a like meaning we have Annaghierin {eanach, a 
marsh), the name of a lake near Shercock in Cavan. 
Lisheenanierin is a townland near the village of 
Strokestown in Eoscommon ; and there is a Lissan- 
ierin in King's County, four miles north of Roscrea: 
both signifying the fort of the iron. Lough Anierin is 

350 The Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

a small lake about a mile from the hamlet of Kilty- 
cloo-her in Leitrim. 

It may be conjectured that some of the foremen- 
tioned places, as well as others, received their names, 
not from the actual discovery of the metal itself, but 
from the reddish, rusty appearance of the soil, indi- 
cating the presence of iron. However, the presence 
of ferruginous mud Avas generally indicated by a dis- 
tinct term, which will form the subject of the next 

Iron scum. When the soil is impregnated with 
iron, water springiug from tlie ground or flowing 
along the surface deposits a reddish mud ; which also 
sometimes floats on the top and forms a thin, shining, 
metalliferous looking scum. This rusty-looking mud 
or scum is sometimes used in colouring cloth, and it 
is known in most parts of Ireland — or was known 
when Irish was spoken— by the name of rod or ruide 
[ridda]. It got this name from its colour ; for rod sig- 
nifies red. This word is given in the old form rot, 
in Cormac's Grlossary, where it is stated that it signifies 
" everything red." It is of course cognate with Eng. 
red and ruddy. 

The word is pretty common in names, audit is easily 
known, for it is never much disguised by corruption. 
It is anglicised rud, rudda, ruddij, riddia, &c., all 
which forms are illustrated in the following names. 
Near the village of Ballyconnell in Cavan, is a lake 
remarkable for this kind of deposit, called Lough End ; 
and there is a small pool called Lough Arudda in the 
county Leitrim, one mile from the north-western end 
of upper Lough Macnean. Moneyrod, the shrubbery 
(or perhaps the bog) of the iron scum, is the name of 
a place in tlie parish of Duneane in Antiim ; Corra- 
rod in Cavan [cor, a round hill) ; Ijoolinrudda at the 

CHAP. XX.] TJie Mineral Kingdom. 351 

northern base of Slievecallan mountain in Clare {hooli/, 
a dairy place). Raruddy, with its old castle ruins, 
near Loughrea, and Cloonriddia in the parish of Kil- 
lererin, both in Galway, the rath or fort, and the 
meadow, of the scum ; the latter the same as Clonrud 
near Abbey leix in Queen's County. In Bunnaruddee 
(bun, the end, the mouth of a stream) near Bally- 
longford in Kerry, there is a spa ; and all the land 
round it is (as a person once described it to me) 
" covered with shiny stuff." The final rj belonging 
to the adjective form aj^pears — after the manner of 
the extreme south — in Kealariddig in the parish of 
Kilcrohaue, west of Kenmare in Kerry — the keal or 
narrow marshy stream of the iron scum. 

Sulphur. The pretty little river that flows 
through Oughterard in Galway, deposits a sulphur 
scum on the stones in its bed, and along its margin, 
which may be seen when the water is very low. 
O'Flaherty (lar C. p. 53) records that iu a great 
drought in 1666 and 1667, "there was brimstone 
found on the dry stones [in the bed of the river] about 
the bridge of Fuogh." From these sulphury de- 
posits he states " it was commonly called Otcan 
Roimhe, or Brimstone lliver ;" and this name is now 
modernised to Ovvenriff. This word ruihh, sulphur, 
is found in a few other names, but it does not occur 
often. Eevlin in the parish of Killjanard, near the 
town of Donegal, probably received its name for the 
sam,e reason as the last : — Ruihh-linn, sulphur pool or 
stream. Moneenreave in the parish of Inishmagrath 
in Leitrim, the little bog of the sulphur. 

Salt. The art of preserving provisions by means 
of salt is of great antiquity in Ireland ; and salt itself 
is often mentioned as an important article of con- 
sumption in the old laws regarding allowances and 

352 The Mineral Kingdom. [cuAr. xx. 

tributes. The Iiisli word for salt is salann — old form 
6r//o»(r^, as given in Cormac's Glossary— corresjoon ding 
with "Welsh lialen, Lat. ml, Gr. Jials, Slav, soli, Goth, 
and Eug. salt; and the Irish dictionaries give the 
diminutive sakinndn, as meaning a salt pit. 

A good number of places have taken their names 
from this word, as if marking the spots where salt 
was dug up, wliere it was manufactured from sea water, 
or where it simply impregnated tlie soil. But in 
eveiy case I have met with, the s is eclipsed by t; and 
the word is nearly always anglicised tallin, tallon, or 
tallan, forms which are easily recognised. 

Glenatallan is a townland near Loughrea in Gal- 
way, whose Irish name is Gleann-a^ -tsalainn , the glen 
of the salt. Coomatallin in Cork, and Lugatallin in 
Mayo, both signify salt hollow ; Tawnytallan in Lei- 
trim, the salt field {tirinhnacJi) ; and Loughatallon, a 
small pool two miles south west of Castletown in 
Westmeath, the lake of the salt. 

Quarry. A quarry of any kind, whether producing 
stone or slate, is called coilcir [cullare]. The Four 
Masters (vol. v., p. 1261) mention a place in the 
county Monaghan called Afh-an-c/wilci); the ford of 
tlie quarry. There is, or was, a quarry in the parish 
of Drum in Maj^o, west of Balla, which has given 
name to the townland of Cuillare ; and another near 
Athenry in Galway, whence the townland of Cullair- 
bane has got its name, signifying white quarry. 
PoUacullaire in Galway, Poulaculleare in Tipperary, 
and Clashacollare near Callan in Kilkenny, all mean 
simply quarry-hole (poll, a hole; cla/'s, a trench). 
The word is slightly disguised in Knoekacoller near 
Mountrath in Queen's County, and in Craigahulliar 
(c changed to h by aspiration) near Portrush in An- 
trim — the hill and the rock of the quarrj'. 

CHAP. XX.] The Mineral Kingdom. [353 

Slate. Slinn is a slate or any very flat stone or 
tile. There is a hill in the tovvnlaud of Fleanmore, 
parish of Kilfergus in Limerick, called Knockuasliuna, 
signifying the hill of the slates ; Derrynaslingin the 
parish of Ardcrouy in Tij^perary, and Mullaghslin 
in a detached part of the parish of Clogherny in Ty- 
rone, the oak wood (doire) and the summit (niullac/i) 
of the slates. 

Lime. Notwithstandingt hat lime is so plentiful 
in Ireland, comparatively few places have taken their 
names from it- Our word for lime is ael, and it ap- 
pears in at least one name preserved in the annals. 
The Four Masters twice mention a place called Ael- 
mhac/h, i. e. lime-plain ; but the name is now obsolete. 
O'Dugan in one place calls Kilkenny by the apjiro- 
priate name, CiU-Chainnirjh na clock n-aoil, Kilkenny 
of the limestones (p. 94). 

In anglicised names the word usually appears as 
a termination in the form of eel. B awn an eel in the 
parish of Kilmeen, west of Kanturk in Cork, repre- 
sents the Irisli Bdn-an-aeil, the lea-field of the lime. 
Near Trim in Meath there is a place called Cloucarn- 
eel, the clon or meadow of the limestone cam ; 
Toneel in the parish of Bolio iu Fermanagh, tlie 
bottom-land {ton) of the lime ; Knockananeel iu the 
parish of Crossboyne in Mayo, Cnocan-an-aeil, little 
limestone hill. 

Gravel. Grenn [gran] is often used to signify 
land in general ; but it is more usually restricted to 
mean gravel, and occasionally the gravelly bed of a 
stream. This word sometimes gets confounded in 
anglicised names with grian, the sun, and with grdn, 
grain ; but when the Irish pronunciation can be 
heard, it is always sufficient to distinguish them ; 

2 A 

354 The Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

for grean is sounded short [gran], and the other two 
long [green, graan]. 

From this word a considerable number of names 
are derived. There is a stream flowing into the 
Maigue, near Adare in Limerick, called theGreanagh, 
which is the adjective form with the postfix ach (p. 3), 
signifying gravelly stream ; and some townlands in 
Gralway and Derry are called Grannagh and Granagh 
— gravelly place. With the oblique inflexion this 
same word gives name to Granny, which occurs in 
each of the tliree counties, Kilkenn}^, Derry, and 
Roscommon ; and this name is modified to Granig, 
near Tracton, south of Cork harbour, in accordance 
with the custom of pronouncing the final g prevalent 
in Cork and Kerry. The diminutive Granaghan 
(on the adjective form greanach) is the name of many 
other townlands, and has the same meaning as the 

The English gravel is sometimes transferred into the 
Irish ; it is spelled gairhliml — pronounced gravale — 
and has given name to Gravale, a high mountain 
near Sallygap in Wicklow. 

Sand. There are several Irish words for sand, of 
wliich the one most generally used is gaineamh [gan- 
nav]. The simple word gives name to Ganniv in 
Cork, to Gannew in Donegal, and to Ganuow in 
Galwa3^ From the adjective gainmheacli, sandy, 
are derived Gannavagh in Leitrira, Gannaway near 
Donaghadee in Down (Gannagh, Inq.), and Gan- 
noughs (sandy places) in Galway ; while the diminu- 
tives are seen in Gannavane in Limerick, and Gan- 
naveen in Galway. Pollaginnive in Fermanagh 
signifies the sandpit ii^oll, a hole) ; Clonganny in 
Wexford, sandy cloon or meadow ; and on the shore 

CHAr. XX.] TIte Miiteral Kingdom. 355 

near Bangor in Down, is a place called Grlenganagh, 
the glen of the sand. 

Jewels, Pearls. The Irish term sed (shade) old 
form set — was anciently used to denote a measure of 
value. According to Cormac's Glossary there were 
several kinds of sets ; but they were all understood 
to be cattle of the cow kind. The word was most 
commonly applied either to a three-year old heifer, 
or to a milch cow ; but sometimes it was used to 
designate property or chattels of any kind. 

This word had also a somewhat more specific 
meaning ; for it denoted a pearl, a precious stone, or 
a gem of any kind; thus Con O'Neill who was killed 
in 1493, is designated by the Four Masters, in re- 
cording his death, " the bestower oiseds and riches," 
and O'.Donovan here translates seds hy Jewels. This 
latter is the sense in which the word is now, and has 
been for a long time, understood ; and this is the 
meaning with which I am concerned here. 

Several Irish rivers were formerly celebrated for 
their pearls ; and in many the pearl muscle is found 
to this daj'". Solomon Richards, an Englishman, 
who wrote a description of Wexford about the year 
1656, speaking of the Slaney, says, " It ought to 
precede all the rivers in Ireland for its pearle fish- 
ing, which though not abundant are yet excellent, 
for muscles are daily taken out of itt about fowre, 
five, and six inches long, in which are often found 
pearles, for lustre, magnitude, and rotundity, not in- 
ferior to oriental or any other in the world. They 
have lately been sold by a merchant that dined this 
day with me for 20s, 30s, 40s, and three pound a 
pearle, to goldsmiths and jewellers in London." 
(Kilk. Arch. Jour.— 1862-3, p. 91). O'Flaherty 
states th?.t in the Fuogh river or Owenriff, flowing 

2 a2 

356 IVie Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

by Ougliterard in Galway, " muscles are found that 
breed pearlea," and to tliis day they are often found 
in the same river. In Harris's Ware it is stated 
that pearls are found in the fresh water muscles of 
the Bann, and in those of several of the streams of 
Tyrone, Donegal, and elsewhere. He tells us that 
a present of an Irish pearl was made to Anselm, 
archbishop of Canterbury, by Gilbert, bishop of 
Limerick, about 1094. In Kerry also, he remarks 
that several other precious stones are found, namely, 
Kerry diamonds, amethj^sts, topazes, emeralds, and 
sapphires of good quality. Many of the streams of 
Donegal produce the pearl muscle in which pearls 
are often found (see Dub. Pen. Jour. I., 389) ; and 
tlie same may be said of streams in several other 
parts of Ireland. 

The word sed designates all such precious stones ; 
and from what I have already said no one will be 
surprised to find that this term is often found form- 
ing a part of local names. When it occurs in names 
it is not easy to determine in each case tlie precise 
sense in which it is used ; sometimes it indicated no 
doubt that pearls or other gems were found in the 
respective places ; it may have been occasionally 
applied to cattle ; wliile in other cases, the names 
probably mark places where hordes of valuables of 
some kind were kept. 

The old name of Baltimore on the south-coast of 
Cork was I)un-na-sed (Annals of Inuisfallen), the 
fortress of the jewels ; but the name was originally 
applied to a circular fort on a high rock, the site of 
which is now occupied by the ruins of O'Driscoll's 
castle, to which the name is still applied. I will 
not venture any conjecture as to why the old for- 
tress got the name of Dun-na-sed. 

CHAP. XX.] The Miner nl Kingdom. 357 

With regard to the present name, we are told in 
the topographical Dictionaries of Seward and Lewis, 
that the place was called Beal-ti-mor, the great habi- 
tation of Beal, because it was one of the principal 
seats of the idolatrous worship of Baal. But for 
this silly statement there is not a particle of autho- 
rity. The name is written in several old Anglo- 
Irish documents, Balintimore, which accords exactly 
with the present Irisli pronunciation ; the correct 
Irish form is Baile-an-tighe-inJioir, which means 
merely the town of the large house ; and it derived 
this name no doubt from the castle of the O'Driscolls, 
already spoken of. 

This name has got a new lease of life in the 
United States, where in the year 1632, George 
Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who derived his title from 
the Irish village, obtained a grant of Marjdand from 
Charles I. and founded a town in it, to which he gave 
the name of Baltimore. 

The word sed appears in Cloghnashade, the stone 
of the jewels, now the name of a townland and of 
a small lake in Hoscommon, two miles east of Mount 
Talbot. They have a legend in Munster, that at 
the bottom of the lower' lake of Killarney, there is a 
diamond of priceless value ; which sometimes shines 
so brightly that on certain nights the light bursts 
forth with dazzling brilliancy through the dark 
waters. Perhaps some such legend gave name to 
Loughnashade (lake of the jewels), a small lake four 
miles north-east from Philipstown in lung's County; 
to Loughnashade, a lakelet two miles west of 
Armagh ; and to a third lake of the same name, a 
mile from Lrumshambo, just where the Shannon 
issues from Lough Allen, 

In the Lcahhav Breac, or Speckled Book of the 

3o8 The Mineral Kingdom. [chap. xx. 

Mac Egans, a collection of ancient pieces compiled 
in the fourteenth centmy, there is a pretty legend 
to account for the name of LocJt, Bel Sead, one of 
the lakes on the Galty mountains. Coerabar, the 
beautiful daughter of the great Connaught fairy 
queen, Etal, had one hundred and fifty maidens 
in her train, who every alternate year were trans- 
formed into as many beautiful birds, and in the 
other years had their natural shapes. During the 
time that they lived as birds they always remained 
on Loch Crotta Cliach {Crotta CUach, the ancient 
name of the Galty mountains) ; and they were chained 
in couples with chains of silver. One of them espe- 
cially was the most beautiful bird in the whole world ; 
and she had a necklace of red gold on her neck, with 
three times fifty chains suspended from it, each chain 
terminating in a ball of gold. So the people who 
saw the birds every day, called the lake Loch Bel 
Sead, the lake with the jewel mouth, from the gold 
and silver and gems that glittered on the birds. 
(O'Curry: Lect. on MS. materials, 426). This 
lake has long lost its old name, and it is now called 
Lough Muskiy, from the old territory of Miiscraighe 
CJiui)x in which it is situated. Curiously enough, 
however, there is a lake of this name, now Lough 
Belshade, at the eastern base of the Bluestack 
mountains, about six miles north-east of the town of 
Donegal ; but I have not heard of a legend in con- 
nexion with it. 

CHAP. XXI.] The Surface of the Land. 359 



Talamh [tallav] signifies the earth or land, corres- 
ponding with Lat. tel/tis. It is not often found in 
local use, and. a few names will be sufficient to illus- 
trate it. A short distance north of Killary harbour, 
there is a little island near tlie coast, called Tallav- 
baun, which signifies whitish land. Tallavnararaher 
is the name of a townland in the parish of Kilbegnet 
in Galway — Talaiiih-jia-nibrathar, the land of the 
friars. It sometimes takes tlie form of tallo/r, as in 
Tallowroe in the parish of Killeeneen in Gralway, 
red land ; Shantallow and Shantalliv, the names of 
several places, old land, which were probably so 
called because they had been long cultivated, while 
the surrounding district remained waste. The geni- 
tive form is talinhan, the pronunciation of which is 
exhibited in Buntalloon near Tralee, a name which 
exactly corresponds in meaning with Finisterre and 
Land's End. 

Fearann, land, ground, a country. In its topo- 
graphical use it is applied to a particular portion of 
land or territory. It is widely disseminated as a 
local term ; and in the anglicised form Farran it con- 
stitutes or begins the names of about 180 townlands. 
Farran agalliagh in Roscommon must have formerly 
belonged to a nunnery — Fcarann-nagcaiJIeach, the 
land of the nuns. Farran garve near Killashandra 
in Cavan, rough land ; Farrantemple in Kilkenny 
and Derry, the land of the church ; Farranatouke, 
near Kinsale, the land of the hawk ; Farrandahadore 
near Cork city, the land of the dyers — dafh, a colour ; 
dathadoir, a dyer. 

360 The Surface of the Land. [chap. xxt. 

A great many of tlie denominations beginning 
sNiVufcarann liave the latter part formed of a per- 
sonal or family name, commemorating former pos- 
sessors. Thus Farranrory in Tipperary is Rudli- 
raidhe's or Rory's land ; Farranydaly in Cavan, 
O'Daly's land ; Farrangarode in Sligo, and Far- 
rangarret in Waterford, both signifyiug Garret's 

When this word forms the end of a name, it often 
loses the /' by aspiration, as in the common townland 
names Laharan and Laharran, which represent 
Leath-fhcarann, half land, a name applied to one 
half of a townland, which for some reason had been 
divided in two. Raheenarran in Kilkenny, the 
little rath or fort of the land or farm. 

F6d [fode] means a sod, soil, or land. In its topo- 
graphical application it is commonly used to desig- 
nate a spot, which, compared with the surrounding 
land, has a remarkably smooth, grassy surface. In 
many cases, however, it is understood to mean merely 
the grassy surface of the land. 

As a part of names, this word usually comes in as 
a termination ; but the ,/' almost always disappears 
either by aspiration or eclipse. The aspirated form 
is seen in Moyode, three miles from Athenry in 
Gralway ; Blacili-fhoid, the field of the (grassy surface 
or) sod ; in Castlenode, a mile from Strokestown in 
Eoscommon, tlie castle of tlie green sod ; and in 
Bellanode, which was once the name of a ford on 
the Blackwater river, three miles from the town of 
Monaghan, a name shortened from Bd-atJia-an-fhoid, 
the ford-mouth of the sod. 

Tlie termination ode or node (the n belongs to the 
article) is almost always to be interpreted as in the 
preceding names. The ^yord takes other slightly 

CHAP. XXI.] The Surface of the Land. 361 

different forms, as in LisoicI, near Ardglass in Down, 
which is tlie same name as Lissanode, near Bally- 
more in "Westmeath (//ox, a fort). 

When the ,/' is eclipsed it forms the termination 
vodo, the use and interpretation of which is seen in 
Mullannavode, near St. MuUins in Carlow, MuUdii- 
■na-hhfod^ the green field of the sods, i. e. of the re- 
markaLly grassy surface ; and Slievenavode near 
the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Wicklow (sHahli, a 
mountain) , a name given, I suppose, to indicate that 
the sides of the mountain were covered with green 

The diminutive Fodeen — little sod or sod-covered 
surface — is the name of a townland near Tara in 
Meath ; and the plural, Fodeens, is found near the 
village of Kill in Kildare ; while with the adjective 
termination, we have Fodagli in Wexford, a soddy 
place, i. e. a place with a very grassy surface. 

Lea land. Ban [bawn] is applied in various parts 
of Ireland, especially in the Munster counties, to de- 
note a green field or lea land — untilled or uncropped 
grass-land. It is often anglicised haaii, which forms 
or begins tlie names of a great many places. Bawn- 
anattin near Thurles signifies the field of the furze 
{aiteann) ; Bawnluskaha near Castleisland, Ban-lois- 
(jithe, burnt field, i. e. the surface burned for agricul- 
tural purposes ; Bawnnahow near Dromaleague in 
Cork, the field of the river [ahha). 

As bdini is also the modern form of badhitn, the en- 
closure near a castle (for which see IstSer., Part III. 
c. I.), some caution is necessary before one pronounces 
on the signification of this word haicn. 

Ban assumes in combination otlier forms, whose 
meanings are scarcely liable to be mistaken ; for ex- 
ample, Ballinvana near Kilmallock in Limerick sig- 

362 The Surface of the Land. [chap. xxi. 

nifies the town of the field {h changed to v by 
aspiration) ; Tinvane near Carrick-on-Suir, and Tin- 
vaun in Kilkenny, both anglicised from Tigh-an-hltain, 
the house of the field. 

There are several diminutives of this word. One, 
bcoiog (little lea field), gives names to all those places 
now called Banoge, Bawnoge, and Bawnoges. The 
word has been disguised by corruption in Bannix- 
town near Fethard in Tipperary, which ought to have 
been anglicised Banogestown ; for the Irish name 
is Baile-na-mhanog, the town of the hanoges or little 
lea fields ; Barrauamanoge near Lismore in Water- 
ford, has a name with a similar formation — the harr 
or summit of the little bawns. Another diminutive 
is seen in Cranavaneen in Tipperary, the crann or tree 
of the field ; and still another in Baunteen near 
Galbally in Limerick, which as it stands means little 
lea field. 

The plural of this word is hdnta [baunta] which is 
seen in Bawntameena near Thurles, smooth green 
fields {rnin, smooth) ; and in Bawntard near Kilmal- 
lock in Limerick, Banta-arda, high fields ; while un- 
compounded it gives name to several places now called 

Sward. Scrath [scraw] signifies a sod, a sward, a 
grassy surface. The word is still current in the south 
of Ireland among people who no longer speak Irish ; 
and they apply the term scra/cs, and the diminutive 
scrau'hoges, to the flat sods of the grassy and heathery 
surface of boggy land, cut with a spade and dried for 
burning. There is a hill one mile south of Newtown- 
ards, called Scrabo, the name of which signifies the 
•sward of the cows ; Scralea in Tyrone, grey sward. 
Ballynascraw and Ballynascragh in Longford and 
Galway, the town of the scraws or swards. The di- 

CHAP. XXI.] The Surface of the Land. 363 

minutive scrathan (little sward) is more common than 
the original ; it takes the forms Scrahan and Scrahane, 
which, with the plural Scrahans, forms the whole or 
part of the names of several townlands in Cork, Kerry, 
and Waterford. 

Shelf. Fachai)' [falier] shelving land ; a shelf-like 
level spot in a hill, or in the face of a cliff : used in 
this sense in Donegal and Mayo. I have heard it in 
Kerry and Cork, and it gives names to places in 
various counties. In Donegal and other counties 
there are several townlands called Faugher — meaning 
in all cases a shelf or a shelving hill side. There is 
a place called Fagher near Stradbally in "Waterford ; 
a high cliff on the north side of Valentia Island is 
called Fogher ; and Faher is the name of a moun- 
tain north west of Kenmare. Knocknafaugher near 
Dunfanaghy in Donegal, the hill of tlie shelf. 

Scwiiha/ [skool] signifies a precipice, a sharp slope, 
a steep hill. It gives names to several places now 
called Scool, Seoul, and Skool. The Four Masters 
mention a place in the county Clare, as the site of a 
battle fought between two parties of the O'Briens in 
1562, called Cnoc-an-scamhail, which is now called in 
Irish Cnoc-an-scumhail, the hill of the precipice; it is 
situated about two miles south west from Corofin, 
and the name is anglicised Scool Hill. There 
is a place a little north of Knockainy in Limerick 
called Ballinscoola (with a different inflexion for the 
genitive), the town of the precipice ; and another 
place called Drumskool near Irvinestown in Ferma- 
nagh, the ridge of the precipice. 

Hound hollow. Crdii is a very uncertain term to 
deal with ; for it has several meanings, and it is often 
very hard to know the exact sense in which it is ap- 
plied. In Wicklow and Carlow and the adjoining 

364 The Surface of the Land. [chap. xxi. 

districts, tlie people — when Irish was spoken — often 
applied it to a round basin-like hollow. Crone itself 
is the nanie of several places in Wicklow ; Cronebane 
near the Wooden Bridge Hotel, is well known for 
its copper mines, and Oronroe near Ilathnew, for the 
beauty of its scenery ; the former signifies white, and 
the latter, red, hollow. Cronybj^rne near Eathdrum, 
signifies O'Byrue's hollow {ij representing 0: see 
p. 134) ; and the, place is still in possession of an 

Sandlxinh. Dumhach is used on -some parts of the 
coast to signify a sandbank ; but it is very difficult 
to separate the word from dunilia, a grave mound, 
and from other terms approaching it in sound. A 
very excellent example of its application is seen in 
Dough Castle near Lehinch in Clare, which the Four 
Masters, when recordins' the death there in 1422 of 
E.ory O'Connor, lord of Corcomroe, call Caislen-na- 
damhcJia, the castle of the sandbank; and it was most 
aptly so called, for it is built on a large mound alto- 
gether formed of sea sand. There are other places 
in Clare also called Dough, while another form of the 
name, Doagh, is common in several of the northern 

The word beartrach means a sandbank ; and in a 
secondary sense it is often applied in the west of 
Ireland to an oyster bank. A very characteristic ex- 
ample of its use is found in the name of the little 
island of Bartragh at the mouth of the Moy, near 
Killala, which is remarkably sandy — in fact formed 
altogether of sand thrown up by the meeting of the 
tide and river currents. The point of land jutting 
into Clew Bay, opposite Murrisk Abbey, at the base 
of Croagli Patrick, is called Bartraw. There is a 
well known sea inlet in Connemara called Bertragh- 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 365 

"boy, wliicli must have received its name from some 
point on its shore, for it means yellow sandbank. 



In the sixth chapter of Part lY. of the First Series, I 
have treated of several terms which designate marshes, 
and have given many names derived from them. But 
besides these, there are various words denoting 
swamps, quagmires, sloughs, puddles, and watery 
places of all kinds; and these I now propose to 
enumerate and illustrate. And here it is necessary 
to reiterate a remark made in the beginning of the 
foremeutioned chapter : — that while many places that 
derived their names in distant ages from their marshi- 
ness are still as marshy as ever, others — and per- 
haps the greater number — have been drained, and 
the names are no longer correctly descriptive of 
ph3^sical character. 

The Four Masters, when mentioning the place now 
called Bellaugh near Athlone, call it Lathach, which 
signifies mud, a slough, a puddle, a miry spot ; and this 
word gives names to a good many places. It is seen 
in its simple form in Lahagh, east of Templemore in 
Tipperary, in Laghey near Dungannon in Tyrone, 
and in Laghy in Donegal ; while we have Laghagh- 
glass, green slough, in Gralwa}^. As a termination it 
usually takes some such form as lahy, as in Mona- 
lahy, north of Blarney in Cork, the moin or bog of 
the puddle ; Gortnalahee in the same county, and 

366 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

Gortnalaliagh near Castlecouiiell iii Limerick, botli 
signifying the field of the miry place. The diminu- 
tive, Lalieen (little slough) is also the name of several 
places in Cavon, Donegal, and Leitrim. 

Ahav signifies generally a mire or puddle — some- 
times a mire caused by the trampling of cattle in a 
wet place ; and occasionally it is understood to mean 
a boggy or marshy piece of land. This word is in- 
teresting, inasmuch as it may be — and indeed has 
been — questioned whether it is not the same as the 
Welsh aher, a river mouth, corresponding with our 
word inbher. I do not believe that it is, for I think 
it quite improbable that we should have, running 
parallel in the Irish language, two different words 
corresponding with the Welsh aher, unless we got one 
of them by borrowing fr(jm tlie Welsh, which I think 
equally unlikely. It is found forming a part of names 
chiefly ill Donegal, and occasionally in the adjoining 

There is a place near Kilmacrenan called Ball}^- 
buniuabber, whose name signifies the town of the ban 
or end of the mire. A muddy little stream in the 
parish of Innishkeel in the same count}', is called Ab- 
berachrinn, i. e. (the river of) the miry place of the 
craiiii or tree. Sometimes it becomes abber, as in 
Buninubber near the north eastern shore of Lower 
Lough Erne, the same name as Bunnynubber near 
Omagh, the bun., end, or bottom, of the mire. 

The Avord salach is applied to anything unclean or 
filthy, and has several shades of meaning ; but topo- 
graphically it is applied to a mere dirty place— a 
place of puddle or mire. It often takes the form of 
slough and slagli in anglicised names, as we see in 
Curraglislagh near Clogheen in Tipperary, the dirty 
curragh or marsh ; a name which takes the form of 

CHAP. xxTi.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 367 

CuiTaglisallagli iu Roscommon. So also in Cranu- 
slough in Tyrone, dirty tree, wliicli I suppose took its 
name from a tree growing in a miry sjDot. 

The meaning of the anglicised termination sallagh 
is, however, often doubtful ; for the Irish word saileach, 
a place of sallows, often assumes this very form ; and 
here, .as in all such cases, we must he guided by the 
local pronunciation or tradition, or by the original 
Irish spelling if we can come at it. It would be im- 
possible to tell what Kilsallagh means as it stands ; 
for kil might be either wood or church {colli, or cill), 
and sallacjli either a dirty place or an osier plantation. 
But the Four Masters when they mention Kilsallagh 
near Ardagli in Longford, clear up the doubt, so far 
as that place is concerned, for they callit Ca///-sa/«r/', 
miry wood. And it is pretty certain that this is the 
interpretation of all the other Kilsallaghs, of which 
there are eight in different parts of the country ; in 
several of them indeed, I know that this is the popular 
explanation. All these places called Rathsailagh 
must have taken their name from a rath or fort sur- 
r. ;unded by a miry ditch ; for everywhere the tradi- 
tional translation is dirty fort, with which the local 
pronunciation agrees. Ardsallagh is the name of 
several places, including a parish in Meath ; but it 
would not be safe to give a general translation : all 
that can be said here is that it means either miry 
height or the height of sallows. 

From the word crith [crigh], to shake, several terms 
are derived, which are applied to morasses of that 
kind which the peasantry call " shaking bogs." 
With the addition of the postfix lach (p. 5.) it gives 
name to Creelogh in Grorumna island in Galway, 
to Creelagh near Rathdowney in Queen's County, 
and to Crylough in the parish of Ballymore iu 

368 Qncujinires and Watery Places. [ciiAr. xxir. 

Wexford- -all meaning a shaking bog. In the ob- 
lique form we have the same word in Crilly, the name 
of some places in Donegal and Tyrone ; and in the 
latter county, near Dungannon, there is a small lake 
called Lough Nacrilly, the lake of the morass. 

Another derivative of the word, with still the same 
meaning, is crithlcdn, which gives name to Crillan 
near Ivesh in Fermanagh, and to Crillaun in Mayo ; 
Loughcrillan in the parish of Inishkeel in Donegal, 
the lake of the shaking bog. With the diminutive 
termination an, followed by ach (see pp. 3, 20, supra) 
we have Crehanagh, the name of a townland near 
Carrick-on Suir, which, though now for the most part 
good dry land, was such a dangerous quagmire a 
little more than a century ago, that the people thought 
it was only a miracle that enabled a fugitive to cross 
it, when escaping i'rom a troop of dragoons. 

Criathar [crihar] signifies a sieve {criat/iar, crib- 
rum, Z. 166), and it is derived from crifli, to shake, 
(by the addition of r ; see p. 12) in allusion to the man- 
ner in which a sieve is used. This word is also ap- 
plied, chiefly in the north and west of Ireland, to 
boggy or swampy places, or to broken land inter- 
mixed with quagmires and brushwood, either on 
account of their being cut up with holes or pits (like 
a sieve) or from shaking under the foot. There is a 
place called Creeharmore (great sieve) on the Roscom- 
mon side of the Suck, a little below Mount Talbot. 
Druminacrehir in the parish of Columkille in Long- 
ford, is the little ridge of the sieve ; but this was pro- 
bably so called because the people used to winnow 
corn on it. It is generally not criathar itself how- 
ever that is used, but a derivative from it. The Four 
Masters (at a. d. 1496) designate a morass by cria- 
thrach (suffix acJi, p. 3) ; and MacFirbis (Hy F. 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 369 

p. 202) mentions "the three townlands of Criaihrach f^ 
this name is still retained by the natives when they 
speak Irish, but the place, which is situated one mile 
from Ballinrobe, is called in English the " Demesne 
of Creag'h." In Mayo and Tipperary there are 
places called Creeragh, which is a correct anglicised 
iorm. of criafhrach. The diminutive gives name to 
Creeran in Monaghan, and Creeraun in Galway. 
Macreary in the parish of Kilmurry in Tipperary, 
the plain of the shaking-bog. 

According to Cormac's Glossary, the primary 
meaning of much is smoke: — '^ Milch, i.e. a name 
proper for smoke: unde dicitur machud (to smother)." 
From this word much, in its secondary sense of " to 
suffocate or smother,'' is derived the diminutive mu- 
chdii, which is applied to a morass, j^robably from 
some fanciful notion that in such a place men or beasts 
are liable to be suffocated. There is a little lake on 
tlie railway line, two miles from Newmarket-on-Fer- 
gus in Clare, called Mooghaun Lough, in which great 
quantities of gold antiquities were found in 1854; 
and this name very well represents the sound of the ori- 
ginal Irish. The same word gives name to places now 
called Moohane in Kerry and Limerick. Knocka- 
moohane near Listowel in l^erry, the hill of the quag- 
mire ; Curraghmoghaun in the parish of Clooney in 
Clare, the smothered curragh or marsh. 

Greach is a mountain flat, a level moory place, 
much the same as a reidh, explained in the First 
Series. It is very common as an element in town- 
land designations in the counties of Cavan, Leitrim, 
Roscommon, Monaghan, and Fermanagh ; and it is 
found also, but less frequently, in some of the coun- 
ties bordering on these. Greagh, the usual anglicised 
form, is the name of several places ; Greaghawillin in 

2 13 

370 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

Monaghan, the mountain flat of the mill ; Grreaghna- 
gleragh in Fermanagli, of the clergy (cleireach) ; 
Greaghnagee in Cavan, of the wind [gaetli). 

The word maing signifies, according to O'Donovan 
( App. to O'R. Diet, in voce), " a sedgy morass, a flow 
hog or shaking bog." I think there can be no 
doubt that this word is merely an oblique case of 
mong, long hair (p. 321); and this opinion is 
strengthened by the fact that muing is also used to 
denote a horse's mane. From this it will appear 
that the places whose names are derived from maing 
were so called in the first instance from the long 
mane- like sedgy grass they produced ; exactly like 
those from mong, grung,&G. (pp. 320, 321, supra). 

This word, as a local appellative, is almost confined 
to the south and west of Ireland. In the beginning 
of names it is usually made Muing and Moyng, 
Avhich are themselves the names of some towulands; 
Muingnaminnane east of Tralee, the sedge of the 
kids ; Muiugbaun in Gralway, white sedge ; Muinga- 
togher in Mayo, the muing of the tog/icr or cause- 

In the end of words — as a genitive — it assumes 
several forms, all easily recognisable. Coolmuinga 
near Kilrush in Clare, the cul or back of the morass ; 
and with the same form, Barnamuinga near Shil- 
lelagh in the south of Wicklow, the same as 
Barrawinga near Rathdowney in Uueen's County 
(barr, the top). The m becomes aspirated in this 
last name, as well as in Derryvung in the parish of 
Kiltullagh in Roscommon {dernj, oak-grove), a well- 
known morass which is accessible only on one side ; 
also in Ballinwing north-east of Carrick-on-Shannon, 
and Moanwing near liathkeale in Limerick, the 
townland and the bog, of the sedgy morass. 

CHAP. XXII.] Qaagmirea and Watery Places. 371 

ChidacJi or clodacJi, a word in general use along 
the western coast of Ireland, from Donegal to Kerr}^ 
signifies a flat stony sea-sliore — stony as distin- 
guished from a traigh or sandy beach. The Rev. 
William Kilbride, in an article on the " Antiquities 
of Aranmore" (Ivilk. Arch. Jour. 1868, p. 108), 
states that the people use traigh to designate that 
part of tlie beach between high and low water mark ; 
the dadach lies above the traigh, and the duirling 
higher still ; and O'Donovan makes much the same 
statement (Appendix to O'R. Diet., voce, cladach) — 
designating cladach as '' a fiat stony shore." The 
best known example of the use of this word is the 
Claddagh, a suburb of Gralway, now inhabited 
chiefly by fishermen. But it undergoes several 
modifications of pronunciation, as if written in 
Irish cladhdach, claodach, and claoideach [clydagh, 
claydagh, cleedagh] ; and in its signification it is 
also varied. In one or all of these various forms it 
is known over Ireland ; and inland it is very com- 
monly applied to a muddy or miry place ; to the 
muddy bank of a lake or river ; and to a river with 
a sluggish course, and muddy, miry banks. This 
last is its most usual signification, but it would 
appear that in its application to a river, it sometimes 
carries with it the meaning attached to it along the 
western coast — a stony water margin — for I know 
some rivers to which it gives name, in no degree 
muddy or sluggish— mountain torrents rather, hav- 
ing their beds strewn with stones brought down 
from the glens in which they rise. 

This two-fold meaning corresponds with the ex- 
planation of the word given in Peter O'Connell's 
Dictionary : — " Cladach, the sea shore or strand ; 
dirt, filth, slime, puddle." Which of these two 

2 b2 

372 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

meanings the word bears, must be determined in 
each case by local knowledge. 

There are numbers of rivers all over Ireland, 
whose names are formed from this word ; and in 
many cases they have, in their turn, given names to 
townlands, villages, and parishes. The village of 
Clady lies on the Tyrone side of the Finn, four 
miles from Strabane ; there are several townlands 
of the same name in Tyrone, Antrim, and Armagh ; 
Clydagh is equally common in some of tlie western 
and southern counties ; and there is a parish in 
Queen's County called Cloydagh. Clodagh occurs 
several times in Kerry ; near Killarney, we find the 
word in the form of Cleedagh ; and in another place 
an r is inserted, making the name Clodragh. 

The little river Clody, flowing from the slopes of 
Mount Leinster into the Slaney, gave the name 
of Bunclody to the pretty village at its mouth {bun, 
a river mouth), which has been lately put aside for 
the new name, Newtownbarry. Cleady is the name 
of a small tributary joining the Eoughty a little 
above Kenmare ; the river Clodiagh runs into the 
Suir through Portlaw and the demesne of Cur- 
raghmore ; another stream of the same name flows 
by Tullaghmore ; and another still runs into the 
Nore three miles below Inistioge. The Clyda 
stream joins the Blackwater near Mallow; the river 
Claddagh falls into upper Lough Erne after flow- 
ing through the village of Swanlinbar ; and Lough 
Nacung in Donegal pours its surplus waters into 
the Atlantic by the river Clady, opposite Gola 

We have, in a few instances, the authority of 
ancient documents for the orthography of this name. 
Clady in Tyrone is called Ckiideach by the Four 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watcrij Places. 373' 

Masters, when they record a battle fought there in 
784, between the Kinel-Owen and the Kiuel-Conall; 
and the Annals of Ulster, recording the same event, 
write the genitive of the name Cloitigi^ which points 
to a nominative from CloiteacJi. 

It will be observed that all these are derived from 
the root clad or cloed, to which the adjectival termi- 
nation ach has generally been added : but in one 
case — Clodragh, already mentioned — the termina- 
tion is racJi (see p. 7), all which implies that those 
who gave the names had a distinct perception that 
they were building on clad or clocd as a foundation. 

Caedh [quay, kay] signifies a quagmire or marsh 
— occasionally a wet natural trench ; and though 
not in very common use, it occurs in each of the four 
provinces. In Scotland and Ulster it is still retained 
with its proper meaning by the English speaking 
people, in the word qiunc, which is used for a quagmire. 
Its several anglicised forms retain fairly enough the 
original pronunciation. One of these is exhibited 
in the name of Kye in the parish of Clooncraff in 
Roscommon. There is a little hill near Silvermines 
in Tipperary, called Key wee, Caedh-hhuidhe, yellow 
marsh ; and in the same county, west of Nenagh, 
is Bawnakea, the haicn or green field of the qnaw. 
In the north of Donegal, near the village of Millford, 
is a little lake called Lough Nakey ; in Limerick we 
have Bunkey, the bun or end of the morass. In 
Dublin it forms part of the name of Coolquoy, west 
of Swords, the back {ciil) of the quagmire. Xeyanna 
about four miles east of Limerick city, is merely a 
plural form, and signifies quagmires. 

Feifh [feah] is used in some places to designate a 
boggy stream, a stream flowing through a marsh or 
a trench ; in other places a soft, boggy, or marshy 

o74 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

place : the former is its general signification. Four 
miles north west of Thurles is the townlaud and 
demesne of Dovea, Avhich is mentioned by the Four 
Masters, and called by them Duhh-feth, black boggy 
stream or marsh. There is a place called Baurnafea 
in the parish of Shaukhill in Kilkennj^, the top of 
the marshy stream ; and near Lismore in Waterford 
is Monafehadee, i. e. Mdin-na-fcithc-dnib/ie, tlie bog 
of the black quagmire. 

Brean, which signifies putrid, foul, fetid, or stink- 
ing, is often applied to spots that omit an offensive 
smell. There are various circumstances that may 
originate foul smelling exhalations from land. One 
of the indications that led Colonel Hall to the dis- 
covery of copper mines at Glandore in Cork, was the 
fetid smell emitted from a fire of turf cut in a neigh- 
bouring bog, which turned out to be strongly im- 
pregnated with copper ; this bog was known as the 
"stinking bog" {m6in-bhreiii>) ; and the people had 
it that neither cat nor dog could live in the house 
where the turf was burnt.* There is a place called 
Brenter in the parish of Inver, east of Killybegs in 
Donegal, whose name is in Irish Breaii-fir, stinking 
district ; and it got this name from the strong sul- 
phureous smell of a spa Avhich is in the towuland. 
There was a celebrated district of the same name 
lying north east of Mount Callan in Clare, which is 
often mentioned in tlie annals (always as Brcntir), 
but I do not know why it was so called. In most 
cases places with names of this kind are swamps, pits, 
or bogs, wliich emit foul odours from decaying 
animal or vegetable matter. 

There are ten townlauds in various counties, called 

* See lAh-s. ILiU's Ireland, I. 142. 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 375 

Breaudrum, stinking ridge. Breansliagli, east of 
Castlemaine in Kerry, and Breansha near the town of 
Tij^perary, both mean fetid land ; the latter part of 
each name being merely the termination seach (p. 9). 
The two diminutive terms Glanog and Brenog are 
often applied to small streams or inlets of the sea, 
but in opposite senses. The former, which is from 
ghin, clean, is used to designate a bright clear little 
stream, flowing over a gravelly bed. There Avas a 
stream of tins name near the castle of Cargins in 
Gralway, which is mentioned by the Four Masters as 
the scene of a battle in 1469. Glan itself was some- 
times given as a name to wells ; for we read in 
O'Clery's Calendar that, before the time of St Patrick, 
Donaghmore in Tyrone was called iios-67a;?r/a (wood 
of Glan), and that it took this name from a well 
called Glan. The diminutive in an — Glanuan — which 
was originally applied to a clear stream, is now the 
name of a townland in the parish of Donagh in Mon- 
aghau. The other term i?r<?;?o/7, is, on the contrarj^, 
a foul, lazy-flowing, fetid stream. The Four Masters 
mention a place called Bnn-Brcnoigp, the mouth of 
the Brenog, in the townland of Lissadill near Drum- 
cliff in Sligo. The adjective form Breanagh (with 
the same meaning) gives name to a little stream in 
Kerry, joining the Feale in the upper part of its 
course ; and there is a place called Breany (an ob. 
lique form of the last name) near Arclagh in Long 

The level, soft, meadow-land or liolm — often 
swampy and sometimes inundated — along the banks 
of a river or lake, is generally called srath. It is 
a very common term in Irish local names ; and it is 
often greatly disguised by inflection and corrup- 

l576 (Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

tion. Its most correct anglicised forms are Sra, 
Srah, and Sragli, which are the names of numerous 
places. But a t usually becomes inserted between 
the s and the r, in accordance with a euphonic law 
noticed in First Series (Part I. chap, in.); as in 
Strabane in Tja'one, which took its name from the 
meadow land along the river Mourne, and which the 
Four Masters write Sraf/i-bdn, the fair or whitish 
river-holm. Under the influence of this corruption 
also, the simple word becomes Straw in the names 
of some townlands in Derry. There is a parish in 
Carlo w and another in Queen's County, called Stra- 
boe, a name which signifies the srath of the cows. 
Straness near the town of Donegal takes its name 
from a cataract — Srath-an-easa, the holm of the water- 

This word is exhibited as a termination in Bal- 
linastraw, the name of several places in Carlow, 
Wicklow, and Wexford, and in Ballynasrah in King's 
County, both meaning the town of the river-holms. 
In the end of names, when it is in the genitive sin- 
gular, the s is usually eclipsed by /, which considerably 
disguises the word ; in this form it is seen in Mul- 
lantra near Kingscourt in Cavan, 31ui-an-tsratlta, 
the hill-top of the srath ; and in Corrintra near Castle- 
blayney in Monaghan,the round hill of the river-holm. 
Ballintra, the name of several places, is usually an- 
glicised from Baile-an-tsyatha, the town of the srath ; 
but in a few cases it is differently derived (see Bal- 
lintra in 1st Ser.). 

The word niiii [meen] signifies fine or smooth, and 
it has several other shades of meaning which need 
not be noticed here. It is used in its proper 
sense in Clonmeen and Cloonmeen, tlie names of 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 377 

several townlands — Cluain-nnn, smootli meadow ; 
and in Barmeen near Cuslienduu in Antrim, the 
smooth harr or hill-top. 

Topographically it is often applied to a green spot, 
comparatively smootli and fertile, producing grass 
and rushes, on the face of a mountain, or in the 
midst of coarse rugged hilly land. It is used all 
over Ireland, but is far more common in Donegal 
than in any other part of the country. There are 
upwards of 230 townlands whose names begin with 
this word, in the anglicised form of meen, about 150 
of which appear in Donegal alone, 36 in the rest of 
the Ulster counties, and something over 40 in the 
other three provinces 

Its application in this sense will be understood 
from the following examples. Meeniska near Kil- 
beggan in Westmeath signifies the mcen of the water 
{ni'igc) — a wet mountain meadow; Meenbane near 
Stranorlar in Donegal, Meenvane near Skull in Cork, 
and Meenwaun near Bauagher in King's County, 
are all anglicised from Min-hhdn, whitish field. 
There are two places in Donegal, one of them near 
Stranorlar, called Meenagrauv ; the r here represents 
n (as crock for owe : see 1st Ser,), while the g eclipses 
c ; and the full name is Ulin-na-goiamh, the moun- 
tain-meadow of the bones (cnamh) — a name which 
would appear to indicate the site of a battle. In 
the parish of Donaghmore in Cork is a place 
called Meenahony, and there is another place of 
the same name in Donegal, of which the Irish 
form is Mm-a'-chonaidh, the mountain-field of the 

One of the plural forms of this term in its present 
application is minte [meeuta], whicli appears in 
Meentanakill near Inver in Donegal, and in Meen- 

378 Quagmires and IFafcrt/ Places, [chap. xxii. 

tjflugh iu the parish of Kilmeen iu Cork, the former 
signifying the niceiis of the church, and the latter wet 
mountain fields. A diminutive form is seen in 
Meentoges in the parish of Kilcummin in Kerry, 
i. e. small green spots. 

Leana means in general a wet or swampy meadow — 
grassy land with a soft spongy bottom. The word 
is in use more or less all over Ireland, but it is com- 
moner in Ulster than in the other provinces. In 
Derry it is used to signify any green field, meadow, 
or pasture land ; but its usual meaning is the one 
first given. In its simple form it gives name to the 
parish of Leny in Westmeath, as well as to the town- 
land of Leany near Corrofin in Clare ; and Lenamore, 
great wet-meadow, is the name of many townlands 
scattered through several counties. Near the town 
of Antrim is a townland with the half English name 
of Quarter Lenagli, that is, the wet-meadow quarter ; 
and in the parish of Aghnamullen in Monaghan, we 
have Tievaleny, the hill-side of the meadow ; Moan- 
leana near Newcastle in Limerick, the bog of the 
wet meadow. 

In most parts of Ireland the people understand 
and habitually use the word slug in the sense of 
swallowing drink— gulping it down quickly and 
greedily. Lever's witty Irish soldier, Maurice Quill, 
used to creej) among his comrades in the heat of 
battle, holding in his hand a can of ale, and saying, 
while he offered each poor fellow a drink, " Here, 
take a slug before you get a bu//ef." The Irish form 
of this Avord is s/og, and it is often applied to a swal- 
low hole in a river or lake, tliat is, a deep pool with 
an open at bottom, from which the water escapes as 
fast as it enters — often with a gurgling noise. Such 
pools often gave names to places ; and the word slog 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Pleices. 379 

assumes various anglicised forms, ■whicb. are, how- 
ever, seldom so far removed from the original as to 
be difficult of recognition. 

Lough Slug — the lake with the swallow — is the 
name of several small lakes in Donegal. A common 
derivative is s/orjaire [sluggera], literally a swallower, 
i. e. topographicall}^ a swallow-hole, which gives name 
to Sluggara near Cappoquin in Waterford, to Slug- 
gary south west of Limerick city, and to several 
other places. The s is eclipsed in Parkafluggera 
near Dungarvan, Pairc-cC-tsIogaire, the swallow-hole 
field. One mile from Mitchelstown in Cork is the 
townland and wood of Grlenatluckv, the name of 
which is in Irish, Gkann-(i-tslo(jaidhe, the glen of the 
swallow-hole. There is a village called Creeslough, 
near the mouth of Sheephaven in Donegal, five miles 
south east of Dunfanaghy, which took its name from 
a little lake. In this name a difi'erent Irish word is 
used, viz. ci-aos, gluttony: — Craos-Ioc/i, a lake that 
swallows up everytlung. 

Dob/uir [dovar, dower] is one of the many Irish 
terms for water, corresponding to the Sanscrit deihkra, 
the sea (Pictet). Cormac MacCullenan, in his Glos- 
sary, remarks that dohJiar, water, is common to the 
Irish and the Welsh languages ; and from it he de- 
rives the Irish name for an otter, viz., Johliar-eliii, 
wliich literally signifies water-hound. One of the 
rivers in the south west of Donegal v,'as anciently 
called Dob/iar ; for in a poem in the book of Feuagli, 
we are told that the old territory of Ban agh extended 
from the river Edhneeh (the Eany at Invcr) to the 
" Bright Dohliar which flows from the rugged moun- 
tains." This name is now however obsolete. 

The simplest modern form of this word is Dower, 
which is the name of a place one mile east of Castle- 

380 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

martyr in Cork, so called from a little river which runs 
for some distance under ground ; and there is a town- 
land of this name also in the parish of Kilnaman- 
ngh, Eoscommon. Another form is seen in Dore in 
the parish of Tulloghobegly in Donegal. The name 
of Bundoran in Donegal (the bun, end, or mouth of 
the Doran) shows that the little river flowing into the 
sea at the village must have been anciently called 
the Doran; and although there is no documentary 
evidence that I am aware of for the original form of 
this river name, there is little doubt that it is a di- 
minutive of Dohhar — Dohharai), little water — little 
when compared with the adjacent rivers Drowes and 
Erne. In Scotland this diminutive is exactly repre- 
sented inthe name of the river Doveran,in which the v 
sound of the hh is preserved, while it is lost in the Irish. 
Dur is given by O'Reilly as meaning water, but I 
have never met it in any Irish text. Although it 
does not enter extensively into names, it is venerable 
for its antiquity as a topographical term ; for Ptolemy, 
in his map of Ireland, has given the name of Dur to 
a river in the west of tlie island. There are several 
local names in various parts of the country, which 
must be derived from this word. In Antrim, Kerry, 
King's Count}^, and Longford, we find townlands 
called Doory, the anglicised representative of the 
Irish Dldre — as the people still call it — which is pro- 
bably an abstract-noun formation, signifying wateri- 
ness or watery land. There is a parish in Clare, 
now called Doora, which represents the genitive of 
■ dur, the Irish name being paruide-dhuirc, the parish 
of the Dur or water ; and this parish was ancientl}^ 
and is still, celebrated for its abundance of water, 
marsh, and bog. The adjective form Dooragh is the 
name of a place near Stewartstown in Tyrone. 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 381 

A meeting of any kind would be designated by 
comhrac ; and from this general signification come 
two of its principal secondary meanings : — first, the 
meeting of rivers or roads ; and second, a combat, i. e. 
the meeting of opposing sides in battle. We have 
these two meanings perpetuated in local names, and it 
is often impossible to distinguish them without some 
local history or tradition to guide us. But it is cer- 
tain that far the greater number of such names are 
derived from river confluences. The Four Jkfasters, 
at the year 1473, have a record of a battle between 
the MacEannals and some of their neiglibours, fought 
near the village of Carrigallen in Leitrim. The 
people still retain a vivid tradition of this event, 
and point out the townland of Clooucorick near 
Carrigallen as the scene of the combat. Here we 
have history and tradition both agreeing ; and al- 
though historical names very seldom originated so 
late in the fifteenth century, yet we can hardly avoid 
the conclusion that the place got its name from the 
event : — Cluain-comhraic, the field of conflict. There 
is a place of the same name in Fermanagh, and ano- 
ther called Oloncorig in Tipperary. 

About five miles north of Borrisokane in Tipperary, 
near the shore of Lough Derg, there is a little village 
called Carrigahorig, where, according to a record in 
the Four Masters, some battles were fousrht in 1548. 
Here however the coincidence is merely accidental, 
for the name is older than the sixteenth century, and 
was not derived from the battles mentioned by the 
annalists. The correct orthography is preserved in 
the record : — Carraig-an-cJiomhmic, the rock of tho 
meeting ; but I cannot tell whether the name origi- 
nated in a battle or in a confluence of streams. 

This word in its simple form gives name to several 

382 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

places in Cavan, Deny, and TjTOue, now called Corick : 
Corick near Cloglier in Tyrone, was so called because 
it is situated near the confluence of the two rivers 
Blackwater and Fury. The two great roads from 
Castlebar and Crossmolina to Belmullet in Mayo, 
meet at a bridge over the Owenmore river, about 
eleven miles from Crossmolina, where two small 
streams join the Owenmore. For ages before the 
bridge was built or the roads made, there was a ford 
at this spot across the Owenmore, which, from the 
meeting of the streams, was called Bcl-atJia-a-clwmli- 
raic, the ford mouth of the confluence ; and this 
name is now applied to the bridge, in the anglicised 
form Bellacoriek, which very well represents the sound 
of the long Irish name. There is a place of the same 
name in Clare, near the mouth of the little river Owen- 
slieve,in the parish of Clondagad, for the Irish name of 
which we have the authority of tlie Four Masters, 
who write it Bel-af/ia-aji-eltonilnriic ; but it is now 
corruptly called Ballycorick. 

In Cormac's Glossary the word inesclund is ex- 
plained " srihh Itiath no trcu,'^ " a swift or strong 
stream." This word has long been obsolete in the 
language, but it still remains in the names of a good 
many places. The parish of Dromiskin in Louth 
takes its name from a very ancient ecclesiastical 
establishment built on a rising ground — said to have 
been originally founded by St. Patrick — which is 
often mentioned in the annals, and which still retains 
a round tower — a vestige of its former importance. 
Its old name is Druim-ineasclainn [Druminisklin] as 
we find it in many Irish documents, and this name 
is retained to this day by the old people who speak 
Irish ; it signifies the dnnn or ridge of the strong 
stream. Tliere are in the county Cavan two town- 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watery Places. 383 

lands, one near BallyjamesdufF, the other near Bel- 
turbet, whose names are the same as this, but more 
correctly anglicised Druminisclin ; and in Meath, 
near the village of Moynalty, is another, which is in- 
correctly modernised Druminiskin. 

This root-word is seen also in Cloouinisclin near 
the village of Ballinlough in Eoscommon, the meadow 
of the rapid stream. In its simple form it gives name 
to two townlands in Tyrone, called Inisclan, and to 
another called Inisclin in Fermanagh. In accordance 
with a well known custom (prefixing /; 1st Ser., 
Part I., c. II.) this word is often found beginning 
with/'; and so we have five townlands in Gal way, 
Roscommon, Leitrim, and Sligo, with the names of 
Finisclin, Finisklin, and Finnisglin. The word has 
its original application as the name of the little river 
Finisclin, which joins the Breedoge two miles north 
of Frenchpark in Boscommon. It must be observed 
that in a few of the above-mentioned places there are 
now either very trifling streams or no streams at all ; 
from which we must infer, either that there has been 
considerable physical change in those places, or that 
Cormac's explanation does not apply to the whole of 

Lin [leen] means to fill ; connected with Lat. 
plenum. The diminutive Uondn [leenaun], which 
means filling or flowing, is used pretty often as a 
topographical term. Sometimes it is applied to 
creeks on the sea shore where the tide flows in. It 
is in this se ise no doubt that it gives name to the 
well known hamlet called Leenane, near the head of 
Killery bay in Connemara, which is called by the 
Four Masters, Lionan, or more fully, Liondn-chinil- 
mara, the Hnan or tide-filling spot at the head of the 
sea (ceann-mara, head of the sea: see Kenmare, 1st 

384 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxit. 

Ser.) ; and to Leenane near Crookhaven, west of 
Cape Clear island in Cork, which is situated on a 
narrow tidal channel. There is a small lake called 
Lough Aleenaun, the lake of the filling or flowing, 
four miles east of Kilfenora in Clare, which in diy 
summers supplies the surrounding district with water. 
Linn signifies a pond or pool, water, the sea ; and 
it occurs in local names, but only as meaning a pool 
or pond. The English speaking people of Scotland 
retain the word to the present day, but they apply it 
to a waterfall : — 

" AMiyles owre a linn the burnie plays." 

" Let me in for loud the linn 
Is roarin' o'er the warlock crac-oie." 


Here however the word was transferred from the pool 
which is under every waterfall, to the waterfall itself; 
just as happens sometimes in Ireland in the case of 
the word lug, which properly means a basin-shaped 
hollow in the side of a mountain, but which is now 
in a few cases applied to the mountain itself (see Lug- 
duff and Lugnaquillia, 1st Ser.). 

This word is very ancient as a topographical term, 
and enters into names, not only in Ireland, but also 
in Creat Britain and on the continent. It helps to 
form a few important names in Ireland, some of 
which have already been discussed in the First 
Series ; but it is not in very general use. At the 
point where the two rivers Clyde and Dee in Louth 
meet, two miles south east of Castlebellingham, the 
waters expand into a sort of lake, just before they 
enter the sea. This little expansion was anciently 
called Linn-DuachaiJl or LindaachaiUe; and the mouth 
of the stream was called Casan-Linne (the path of the 

CHAP. XXII.] Qwujmircs and Watcri/ Places. 385 

pool). There was here in former cLays a celebrated 
monastery which flourished for a long time, and it 
took the name of Lindaachaill from the little river- 
lake on the shore of which it was situated. Tighern- 
ach records, at the year 700, the death of St. Col- 
man of Linduachaill, and the same record is found in 
several other authorities. At a later period the 
Danes had a settlement at the same spot, and we 
owe to them, no doubt, the effacement of every ves- 
tige of the ancient monastic establishment. St. Col- 
man is commemorated in the martyrology of Aengus, 
and the writer of the gloss quotes a legend to account 
for the name of LinduachaiU (the pool of Uachall) ; 
that before the time of Colman, a demon named 
Vachall infested the waters of the lake, from which 
he often rose up and did great mischief to the peo^Dle. 
The two parts of the name Casan-Linne are still pre- 
served in two diiferent denominations, the former in 
Annagassan (for which see 1st Ser.), and the latter 
in Linns, which is the name of a townland lying 
between the river Griyde and the sea. 

In the parish of Clonelty, near Newcastle in 
Limerick, there is a townland taking its name from 
a ford called Aughalin, the ford {ath) of the Un or 
pool; and a ford on a little river in the parish of 
Ballybrennan in Wexford, has a name with a like 
signification; it is now called "The Ford of Ling," 
and it takes its name from a pool at the mouth of the 
river. Near Clogher in Tyrone, is a place called 
Cloghlin, the stone of the pond ; Cushaling — the 
foot of the pond — is a small river giving name to 
two townlands, about half way between Rathangan 
and Edenderry. 

Cong, conga, or cunga means a narrow neck, a strait 
where a river or lake contracts, the stream by which 


386 Quagmires and Watery Places, [chap. xxii. 

one lake empties itself into another very near it. It 
appears to be connected with cuing, which is the com- 
mon word for the yoke home by horses that are har- 
nessed to a chariot or carriage. This term belongs 
chiefly to the north west of Ireland ; it is common in 
Donegal, where indeed it is still a living word among 
the old natives who speak Irish ; and it is found as a 
local appellative in this county, as well as in Mayo, 
Galway, and Tyrone. An admirable example of its 
application is seen in Lough Nacung, a pretty lake 
at the base of Errigle mountain in[the north west of 
Donegal. This lake is connected with another — 
Dunlewy lake — by a very short and narrow strait, 
which is now called " The Cung," and which has 
given name to Lough Nacung, the lake of the 
" cung " or neck. Another cung connects this — 
which is called Upper Lough Nacung — with Lower 
Lough Nacung, from which the townland of Meena- 
cung (mecn, a mountain meadow) takes its name. 
The narrow passage between Lough Conn and Lough 
Cullin in Mayo, now crossed by a road and bridge, 
has given name to Cungmore point, lying near the 

The best known example of the use of this word 
is Cong in Mayo, which derived its name from the 
river on which it is situated, connecting Lough Mask 
with Lough Corrib. But though this is the most 
remarkable place in Ireland of the name, the river is 
by no means a good characteristic example of a 
" cong," for it is somewhat scattered, and partly 
subterranean. The great abbey of Cong is celebrated 
as being the place where Roderick O'Connor, the 
last native king of Ireland, passed the evening of his 
days in religious retirement ; and it still exhibits in 
its venerable ruins many vestiges of its former mag- 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Wafenj Places. 387 

nificence. It was eitlier founded originally by St. 
Fechin in the seventh century, or was dedicated to 
his memory ; and hence it is called in Irish docu- 
ments Cunrja or Conga Feichin. 

Lough Cong is the name of a small lake south east 
of the Twelve Pins in Connemara ; and there are two 
townlands, one near Maguire's Bridge in Fermanagh, 
and the other in Tyrone, with the euphonious name 
of Congo, all from the same word. The narrow strait 
connecting Ballycong lake with the lake of Carrow- 
keribly, in the parish of Attymasin Mayo, five miles 
south of Ballina, is called Buhh-conga by the Four 
Masters ; and the ford over it was anciently desig- 
nated Ath-eunga (Hy F.) ; this ford is now called 
Bel-atha-conga, the ford-mouth of the cong or strait, 
which has been anglicised to Ballj^cong, the present 
name of the small lake. 

Bn'uine [bunnya — two syllables] means a wave or 
flood, any flow of water ; and this word, or a deriva- 
tive from it, is pretty often found forming a part of 
local names, applied to watery or spewy spots, or 
places liable to be inundated by the overflow of a 
river or lake. It is very well represented in Cloon- 
buuny in the parish of Tibohine in Roscommon, the 
cloon or meadow of the flood or stream — a streamy, 
watery field ; and this same name is found in 
Westmeath, Clare, Longford, and Hoscommon, in 
the slightly modified form of Cloonbony ; in Tippe- 
rary it is Clonbunny ; while Clonbunniagh near 
Enniskillen exhibits the adjective form huinneach. 
Lisbunny is the name of a parish in Tipperary, and 
of a townland in Derry, each of which must have 
been so called from a circular fort whose fosse was 


388 Quagmires and Waicnj P/ac^s. [chap. xxii. 

Watery or oozy places, soft, wet, spongy groimd, 
or spots liable to be overflowed, are often designated 
by the word fiuch [flugh], whose simple meaning is 
" wet : " Jiiuch, humidus ; Z. 66, It is seen in its best 
anglicised form in Killyflugh near Ballymena in 
Antrim, the wet wood ; and in Glenflugh in Wick- 
low, near the source of the Liffey, now the name of 
a mountain, but originally that of a glen at its 
base : — Gleann-flluch, wet or marshy glen. 

The deviYSiiiye ^ffiuchanack signifies a wet orspewy 
place ; it gives name to Flughanagh and Flughany 
in Leitrim and Mayo ; and it comes in as a termina- 
tion in Grortalughany, the name of two townlands 
in Fermanagh, the wet gori or field — the / in the 
beginning having dropped out by aspiration, under 
the influence of the article (see 1st. Ser., Part I., 
c. II.). The word is corrupted in Flegans, about 
three miles north west of Athlone, which we find 
written Flughan in an Inquisition of James I. ; and 
this old spelling, together with the preservation of 
the plural form in the present name, shows that the 
original name is FUucliain, wet places. 

From hcddh [baw], meaning to drown, also a wave, 
comes the adjective haitJite [bawtlia], signifying 
" drowned." This term is applied to places which 
are often submerged, or dro/nicd with water. I may 
remark that when the annalists wish to express that 
the Danes destroyed the sacred books of the churches 
and monasteries they plundered, by throwing them 
into water, they often use this very word : that is, 
they say the books were dron-ncd by the Danes ; and 
this shows that the application is not modern. 

We see the word (with the h aspirated) in Curra- 
watia near MoycuUeu in Galway, the droicncd or in- 
undated curragh or morass. With the adjectival 

CHAP. XXII.] Quagmires and Watcvy Places. 389 

termination acli, it gives name to Bauttagli, west of 
Louglirea in Gralway, a marsliy place. Very often 
it takes the diminutive termination 6(j (p. 28), as in 
Mullanabattog near the town of Monaghan, the 
mullagh or hill-summit of the morass. This form is 
well exhibited in the name of the little river Bauteoge 
running through Stradbally in Queen's County, 
which richly deserves its name, for it flows lazily 
through level swampy land, which it always inun- 
dates in wet weather. In parts of the west, they 
change the initial letter to m, which gives rise to the 
forms maiteog and maitcacli ; and in this way we 
have the name of Mauteoge, near Crossmolina in 
Mayo, and of Mautiagh in the parish of Rossinver in 
Leitrim, both signifying watery land. 

Drg Spots. As many places received names from 
being wet or swampy, so there were spots which, 
either by the nature of their surface or by artificial 
drainage, were dry in comparison with the surround- 
ing or adjacent marshy ground, and whose names 
were derived from this circumstance. The only word 
I will introduce here to illustrate this observation is 
tin)i, which is the common Irish word for dry. 
With the t aspirated to /?, it is seen in Tullyhirm, 
the name of places in Armagh and Monaghan — 
Talaigh-thirni, dry little hill. This is also the ori- 
ginal form of the name of the parish of Tullaherin 
near Growran in Kilkenny, which has been corrupted 
by a change of m to n (1st Ser. Part I. c. iii.), though 
the correct anglicised pronunciation, TnUowheerim, 
is still often heard among the people. 

390 Size ; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 



Great; small. The terms mor [more] and leg, 
meaning respectively large and small, are used to 
express size, both relative and absolute, more than 
any other words in the Irish language ; and they 
are in general easily recognised, being almost always 
spelled more and heg in anglicised names. 

In the parish of Moviddy in Cork, near the south- 
ern bank of the river Bride, stand the ruins of Castle- 
more castle, once the residence of the chief of the 
Mac Sweenys, and afterwards of the M'Carthys ; and 
its name indicates that it was considered the most 
important fortress of the locality: — Caislcn-mor, 
great castle. The parish of Castlemore in Mayo, or 
as it is sometimes called, Castlemore-Costello, because 
it is in the barony of Costello, in like manner took 
its name from a castle, which is called Caislcn-vwr 
in the annals of Lough Key. Castlemore is also the 
name of a townland in Carlow. Of the correlative 
term Castlebeg, small castle, as a townland name, 
one example occurs north west of Comber in Down. 
There is a point of land jutting into the Foyle from 
the Donegal side, about five miles below Derry, called 
Culmore, where Sir Henry Docwra erected a fort in 
the year 1600 ; the Four Masters call it Citil-mor, 
great corner or angle. The townland of Downkilly- 
begs in the parish of Drummaul in Antrim, is 
written by Colgan, Dun-cJiiUe-hice, the fortress of the 
little churcli. 

Yery often these terms were employed to express 
comparison as to size, between the feature named and 
some other feature of the same kind in the immediate 

CHAP. XXIII.] Size ; S/icq)e. 391 

neiglibourliood. There can be no doubt that Inish- 
beg — small island — in the harbour of Baltimore in 
the south of Cork, received that name by comparison 
with the larger island of Ringarogy in the same har- 
bour. So also Bunbeg on the shore of Grweedore 
bay in Donegal, was so called from its situation at 
the mouth of the little river Clady : — Bunbeg, small 
bun or river mouth— small in comparison with the 
adjacent estuary of the Gweedore river. 

In a great many cases the application of these 
terms originated in the subdivision of townlauds into 
unequal parts. Three miles south of Kanturk in 
Cork, in the angle formed by the rivers Allow and 
Blackwater, there is what was once a single town- 
land called Dromcummer ; and it took its name from 
its situation at the junction of the two rivers : — 
Druim-comair, the ridge of the confluence. But this 
townland was divided into two parts, containing re- 
spectively 373 and. 249 acres ; and the former is 
called Dromcummer-more, and the latter Dromcum- 
mer-beg. Sometimes in a case of this kind, the 
larger portion retained the original name without 
any distinguishing postfix, while the smaller kept 
the name with the addition of heg ; as in the case of 
Derrycullinan (Culliuans oak grove), and Derry- 
cuUinan-beg in Leitrim. 

Beg is very seldom altered in form by either gram- 
matical iuflection or corruption : but the m of mor is 
often aspirated to v or w ; as we see in Baravore 
near the head of Grlenmalure in Wicklow, the great 
harr or summit. Occasionally — though seldom — this 
aspirated sound has been dropped, leaving nothing 
of the postfix but ore. This happens in Inishore, the 
name of an island in upper Lough Erne, three miles 
from the village of Lisnaskea, which the Four Mas- 

392 Size ; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 

ters call ^^ Inis-mltor of Lough Bany," the great 
island of Lough Barry (this last being the local 
name for that part of Lough Erne). We see this 
change also in Seskinore the name of a little village 
in Tyrone, whose correct Irish name is Sescenn-iii/ioi'f 
great marsh. 

Like Irish limiting terms in general, these words 
commonly come after the words they qualify. But 
not unfrequently it is the reverse. Moraghy is the 
name of a townland in the parish of Muckno in 
Monaghan, which signifies great field (achad/i) ; but 
Aghamore, with the same meaning, is a more com- 
mon name. Rathmore or Ramore, great fort, is a 
very usual local name ; but in the parish of Drum- 
lease in Leitrim, it is made Morerah. So also with 
beg. Eathbeg is a name of frequent occurrence, and 
signifies little rath or fort ; but in the county of 
Louth, a little above Drogheda, is a place called 
Begrath, which has the same meaning. There is a 
small island close to the land in Wexford harbour, 
called Begerin or Begery, which is celebrated as the 
place where St. Ibar, after having preached the Gos- 
pel in various parts of Ireland, founded a monastery 
in the fifth century, and established a school, in 
which he instructed a vast number of students ; and 
the place still retains the ruins of some of the ancient 
buildings. The name is written in the annals, Ber/- 
JEire, which, in the Life of the saint, is translated 
Farm Hihernia, Little Ireland ; but why this epithet 
was applied to it I cannot imagine. There is another 
Begerin in the same county, in the parish of Old 
Eoss, four miles from the town of New Eoss. 

When these terms are translated, Dior is generally 
rendered great or hig, and heg, small or little. But 
occasionally we find the former translated by much. 

CHAP. xxiii.J Size; Shape. 393 

Muchknock and Muchrath in tlie parish of Killinick 
in Wexford, are half translations of Knockmore and 
Eathmore, great hill and great fort. There is a fine 
rocky precipice in Howth, just over the castle, the 
proper name of which is Carrickmore ; but it is now 
beginning to be generally called Muchrock, which 
seems to me a change for the worse. 

The word min, among other significations, means 
small, and it is occasionally used in the same 
manner as leg. There is a townland on the Black- 
water in Meath, three miles above Kells, called 
Meenlagh, i. e. small lake, which probably took its 
name from some enlargement of the river. A far 
better known place is !Menlougli or Alenlo near Gal- 
way ; this was properly the name of the small expan- 
sion of the river Corrib, on the shore of which the 
village is situated ; and in comparison with Lough 
Corrib, it was called Min-loch or small lake, Avhich 
name was transferred to the village and castle. 
Derrymeen, the name of places in Fermanagh and 
Tyrone, signifies small dcrry or oak-grove, that is, 
composed of small slender trees ; and we have Money- 
meen in Wicklow, the small-tree shrubbery. 

Length. The usual words to express length and 
shortness of dimension qxq facia and gearr. As long 
as/ada retains the_/', it is easy enough to detect the 
word in anglicised names, for it does not undergo 
much corruption. Its most correct forms are seen in 
Knockfadda, long hill, a name of frequent occur- 
rence ; and in Killj'faddy in the northern counties, 
long wood. But it is very often shortened to one 
syllable, as in Knoekfad and Killyfad, the same re- 
spectively as the two preceding names. The / is 
often omitted on account of aspiration, which some- 
what obscures the word ; of this a good example is 

394 Size; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 

Banada in Sligo and Roscommon, wliicli very cor- 
rectly represents the sound of Beann-fhoda, as the 
Four Masters write it, meaning long hen or peak. 
The word is quite disguised in Creewood, a place 
about three miles north west from Slane in Meath, 
which in King John's charter to the abbey of Melli- 
font, is called Crevoda, representing the Irish Cmehh- 
fhoda^ the long crave or branchy tree. 

Short. The opposite term to fada is gearr [gar] 
short; and this is seen in Castlegar, the name of 
some places in Galway and Mayo, which, in a docu- 
ment of 1586 called " Division of Connaught " 
(quoted by Hardiman, lar C. p. 44, note g) is cor- 
rectly translated " short castle" ; Glengar iuTipper- 
ary, short glen. Sometimes it comes in the begin- 
ning of a name, but in this case it is liable to be 
confounded with <7rif;'i//, rough; thus Garbally, which 
is the name of several townlands, in some places 
means short town, and in others rough town ; as 
Grarracloon is translated in one place short meadow, 
and in another, rough meadow. 

Breadth. Lcathan [lahan] signifies broad. The 
best anglicised form is lahan, which is seen in Ard- 
lahan near the mouth of the river Maigue in Lime- 
rick, broad height, But it is very often shortened 
to lane, especially in the north ; as in Gortlane near 
Cushendall in Antrim, broad field ; the same name 
as Gortlahan in the parish of Kildacommoge in 
Mayo : Lislane in Derry and Tyrone, broad fort. 

From the same root as the last (by the addition of 
d : p. 14) comes the noun hithead [lehed], which 
signifies breadth ; and we have this term also very 
often used in local nomenclature. It is &een in its 
most correct form in Moylehid, south-west of Ennis- 
killen, which is pronounced in Irish Mul-Ieithid, the 

CHAP. XXIII.] Size ; Shajw. 395 

hill of breadth, i. e. broad hill-top. But like lecdhan^ 
it is often shortened to one syllable, as we see in Car- 
riglead near St. MuUins in Carlow, broad rock. 

Narrowness. There are corresponding terms sig- 
nifying narrow, which are found in names as often 
as the preceding. The principal is cael [kale, keel], 
which, with its simple adjective meaning, is almost 
always represented in anglicised names by lieel. 
Gleukeel, narrow glen, is the name of some places 
in Cork, Fermanagh, and Leitrim ; Derrykeel, nar- 
row oak wood. 

This word is often applied to a narrow stream, a 
stream flowing through a long narrrow glen, or 
through a marsh ; and it is the usual term also for a 
narrow strait. It is in some one of these senses that 
it gives name to all those places called Keel, Keal, 
and Keale, As applied to a strait, the word is very 
happily illustrated in Loughnadreegeel near Bally- 
jamescluff in Cavan, the name of a lake, which ex- 
actly represents the sound of the Irish Lough-na-dtri- 
f/cael, the lake of the three straits, so called because 
it narrows in three places. 

Keelaghy in Fermanagh represents Cael-achadh, 
narrow field ; and Keelagh and Keilagh, which are 
the names of several townlands, are in some places 
understood to be shortened forms of the same name ; 
while in other places they are considered nothing 
more than the adjective form caelach, i. e. something 

Fat or tJitch. Reamltar, or in old Irish remor, is a 
word which is very extensively employed in the for- 
mation 'of names. It means literally gross or fat ; 
and locally it is applied to objects gross or thick in 
shape, principally hills and rocks. It is pronounced 
diff'erently in different parts of the country. In the 

396 Size ; SJiape. [chap, xxiii. 

south they sound it rour, and it becomes anglicised 
accordingly, as in Carrigrour near Griengarriif in 
Cork, Carraig-reamhar, thick rock ; Beenrour, gross 
or thick peak, the name of a hill over Lough Cur- 
rane in Kerry ; and Reenrour, a name frequent in 
Cork and Kerry, thick rinn or point. As we go 
north the pronunciation changes : sometimes it be- 
comes raiccr, as in Dunbunrawer near the village of 
Grortin in Tyrone, the fort of the thick bv^ji or hill- 
base. Elsewhere in the north, as well as in the west, 
we find the vih represented by r, as in Killyrover 
in the parish of Aghalurcher in Fermanagh, thick 
wood, which I suppose means a wood of thick or 
gross trees (see Derrymeen, p. 393, supra). 

In the northern half of Ireland, the aspiration of 
the 1)1 is sometimes altogether neglected, and the 
letter becomes restored in the manner shown in 1st 
Ser. (Part I., c ii.) ; which is exemplified in Killy- 
ramer near Ballymouey in Antrim, and in Cully- 
ramer near the village of Grarvagh in Derry, both 
the same as Killyrover. The highest summit on 
Rathlin Island oif Antrim is called Kenramer, fat 
or thick head; the same name as Canrawer near 
Oughterard in Galway. The restoration of the ni is 
illustrated in a name more familiar than any of the 
preceding — that of Lough Eamor in the south of the 
county Cavan, which is an abbreviation of the full 
name Lough Munramer, for it is called in Irish 
authorities Loch - muinreauiJiair. The latter part, 
which signifies fat-neck [muin, the neck), was a man's 
name anciently pretty common in Ireland ; and this 
lake received its name from some one of the old-world 
heroes who bore the name- 

Cas signifies twisted : — Cas-au-fs!if/ni)i, " the twist- 
ing of the rope." The word is exhibited in Cash- 

CHAP, xxiii.] Size; Shape. 397 

lleve, the name of a place between Castlerea and 
Ballinlougli in Roscommon, which exactly conveys 
the sonnd of the Irish Cais-shliahh, twisted sUeve or 

Croohed or curi'ed. Cam signifies crooked {cam, 
curvus, Z. 64) ; but it has other meanings Avliich do 
not concern us here. Its most frequent application 
is to rivers and glens ; and there is an excellent il- 
lustration of its use, and ofitsMunster pronunciation, 
in Glencoum or Glencaum, a remarkable defile near 
Macroom in Cork, crooked or winding glen : there is 
a Glancam near the railway, five miles north of 
Blarney, and a Grlencoum near Grraiguenamanagh 
in Kilkenny. Several small streams in various parts 
of Ireland are called Camlin and Oamline — that is 
crooked or curved line. The river Camowen flows 
through Omagh in Tyrone ; and it well deserves the 
name :— Cam-ahluiinn, winding river. The parish of 
Cam or Camma in Roscommon, west of Athlone, 
took its name from a church dedicated to St. Brigid, 
which is called Camachhj MacFirbis (Ily F. 78); 
while Cam, the plural Cams, and the adjective form 
Camagh, are the names of several townlands — names 
derived originally from curved objects of some kind, 
such as rivers, lakes, long hills, e^c. 

The diminutive Camog, in the several forms Cam- 
moge, Commoge, and Commock, is employed to de- 
signate various natural features, principally winding 
rivers. The little river Cammock or Camac, which 
joins the Liffey near Kilmainham, is so called be- 
cause it flows through the " winding glen" of Crum- 
lin (which see in 1st Ser.). There is a townland near 
Enniskillen called Camgart, curved field or garden , a 
name which in Gralway is made Camgort ; and C;in- 
gort near Shinrone in King's County, is a corrup- 

398 ■ 8ke ; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 

tion of this last form (by the usual phonetic change 
of in to 7i), being spelled indeed by some authorities 
Camgort. Between Oranmore and Gralway, near the 
ruins of a church and a round tower, a long narrow 
peninsula juts into Galway bay, called Eoscam, a 
name which stands exactly as it was written in Irish 
authorities, and which signifies crooked peninsula. 

By the addition of f (see p. 1 2 snpra) is formed the 
derivative capias, which is applied to a bend in a 
river, and sometimes to a curved bay ; and which in 
the forms of Camas and Camus gives name to many 
places. St. Comgall of Bangor founded a monastery 
in the fifth century at Camus on the Bann, two miles 
above Coleraine ; it is called Cambas in Adamnan's 
Life of St. Columba, and Camus in the annals ; and it 
received the name from the curve in the Bann river, near 
which it is situated. The monastery, which flourished 
for many centuries, has quite disappeared ; and St. 
Comgall' s ancient establishment is now represented 
merely by a graveyard. There is a spot on the 
Suir, two miles north west from Cashel, whicii is 
mentioned by the Four Masters at A. D. 1623, by 
the name oi Ath-an-chamais, the ford of the camus or 
winding — for the river curves at one side round a 
little island ; but a bridge now spans the Suir over 
the ancient ford, which still retains the name of 
Camus Bridge. 

Bench and slopes. Croin means bent, inclined, 
stooped or crooked. It is a term of very common 
occurrence in local names, but many of those of 
which it forms a part, have been already examined. 
In anglicised names it usually takes the forms o'oni 
and erum, and occasionally cr'nn. One of the peaks 
of the Mourne range is called Bencrom, stooped 
mountain. Macroom in Cork is written in the Irish 

CHAP. XXIII,] Size ; Shape. 399 

authorities Magh-cromtlia [Macromha] ; the latter 
part is the genitive of the participial form cromadh ; 
and the whole name means the sloped or inclining 
field or plain ; which accurately describes the spot 
on which the town stands, for it is a slope at the 
base of Sleveen hill. The name corresponds with 
that of Cromaghy, a place near the village of Rosslea 
in Fermanagh— sloping field. Cromane and Cro- 
moge, two diminutives, signify anything sloping or 
bending, and give names to many places : whether 
they are applied to glens, hills, fields, &c., must be 
determined by the character of the particular spot in 
each'case. Sometimes they are applied to streams, as 
in the case of the Crummoge, a rivulet a little south 
of Borrisoleigh in Tipperary, which, like Loobagh 
(p. 401) received its name from its sinuous course. 

Claen [clane] has several meanings, one of which — 
and the only one which concerns us here — is inclin- 
ing or sloping. "Js aire is claen an lis;" " this is 
the reason why the fort slopes " — Cormac's Glossary. 
This quotation naturally calls up Rathcline in Long- 
ford, a townland which gave name to a parish and 
barony, and which itself must have taken its name 
from a fort situated on sloping ground ; and this is 
the traditional interpretation of the neighbourhood. 
It is exactly the same, only with the terms reversed, 
as Cleenrah in the north of Longford, and Clean- 
rath the name of three townlands in Cork. This, 
moreover, is a very ancient name ; for we are told in 
one of the historical tales in Lehor na h-Uidhre^ that 
Caherconree, the great fortress of Curoi mac Daire, 
on Slievemish mountain in Kerry, was also called 
Cathair-na-claen-ndha, the stone fort of the Claen- 
rath or sloping rath (O'Curry, Lect. III. 82). 

The word Oleen itself, signifying simply a slope, 

400 Size ; Shape. [chap, xxiir. 

is the name of three townlauds in Fermanagh, Lei- 
trim, and Roscommon. The English plural form 
Cleens is found in the parish of Devenish in Fer- 
managh, and the Irish plural Cleeny near Killarney, 
both meaning slopes ; while the adjective forms 
Cleenagh and Clenagh, occur in Donegal, Ferman- 
agh, and Clare. The Fom- Masters at A. D. 1247, 
mention a lake called Claenlocli, which seems a sin- 
gular name, for it means slojoing lake ; and although 
the name is forgotten in Leitrim, it still survives in 
the parish of Drumsnat in Monaghan, in the form of 
Olenlough. It is probable that these names took 
their rise from the configuration of the ground round 
the lakes, as people sometimes imagine that a stream 
flows against the hill. Another name of the same 
class is Claengldais [Cleanlish] — so the Four Masters 
write it — which signifies sloping streamlet, the name 
of a district in the south west of Limerick, in the 
parish of Killeedj, near the borders of Cork and 
Kerry, which is now commonly called Clonlish. 

Fan OT fdnadJi [fawn, fawna] signifies a slope or 
declivity ; and the forms it assumes in anglicised 
names will be seen in the following examples. In 
the parish of Killonaghan in the north of Clare, 
there are two townlauds called Faunarooska, Fdn-a- 
rusca, the slope of the fighting or quarrelling ; and 
Faunrusk, the name of a place a little north of 
Funis, has the same meaning. The simple word, /«;«■ 
gives name to some places in Leitrim, now called 
Fawn, while /«;;c^^//! is anglicised Fauna in Wicklow, 
and Fawney in Tyrone and Derry. It appears as a 
termination in Tobernafauna near Fiddown in Kil- 
kenny, the well of the slope. 

Loops. From the word I ah, signifying a loop, 
bend, or fold, many rivers and other curved objects 

CHAP, xxiii.] 8ize ; Shape. 401 

take their names. The adjective form Loobagh is 
the name of the river that flovv^s by Kilmallock ; and 
meaning, as it does, full of loops, winding or serpen- 
tine, it describes exactly the character of that river. 
The word generally takes such forms as looh, loop, or 
loop}/ ; thus Aughnaloopy near Kilkeel in Down, 
signifies the field of the loop or winding. About 
four miles from the village of Ilollymount in Mayo, 
is the demesne and residence of Newbrook ; the Irish 
name, as preserved in an ancient poem in the Book 
of Lecan, is Ath-nn-Iiib, which the people still retain 
with the addition of hel a mouth, Bel-atha-na-luh 
[Bellanaloob], the ford of the loops, from the windings 
of the little river flowing througli the demesne into 
Lough Carra. An adjective form derived from the 
diminutive is seen in Derrynaloobinagh near Bally- 
bay in Monaghan, the oak wood of the windings ; 
and also in Sheskinloobanagh, the name of a marsh 
in the townland of Croaghonagh, about four miles 
south west from Ballybofey in Donegal, which the 
Four Masters, at 1603, write 8eascann-Iubanach, the 
marsh of the windings. 

Nook. Cliiid is a nook, a corner, an angle. It 
takes the anglicised forms Clood, Cluid, and Cluide, 
which are the names of several townlands. Clood- 
revagh in Leitrim, and Cluidrevagh in Gralway, both 
signify grey nook (p. 276) ; Cloodrumman in Lei- 
trim, the corner of the drum or ridge. 

Floor. Several of the terms which designate a 
level spot of land have been already examined ; and 
the last I will instance is urlar, which signifies a 
floor, sometimes a threshing-floor. Near the village 
of Stranorlar in Donegal, along the little river that 
flows through it, there is a remarkably level holm or 
river meadow, which has given the village its name — 


402 She; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 

Srath-an-urlfiir, the holm or river bank of the floor. 
The simple word gives name to Urlar in Sligo, and to 
Urlaur in Mayo — both meaning a level place like a 
floor. There are several townlands in the Connaught 
counties called Carrownurlaur, the quarter-land of 
the floor, i. e. a flat piece of land, or a threshing-floor. 
A^ail. longa [inga] signifies a nail, talon, or 
hoof; and it was sometimes applied to pointed rocks, 
or to long pointed pieces of land. The sound is 
well preserved in Inga, the name of a place near the 
village of Killimor in the south east of Galway. 
Near the mouth of the river Fergus in Clare, a short 
distance west of Newmarket, is a little promontory 
jutting into the river, called Ing Point, which has 
given name to three townlands. Just outside Ban- 
now Bay in Wexford, near the village of Fethard, is 
a long point with a cliff rising over the sea along 
one side ; and it is called Ingard — high nail. Dun- 
inga, the name of a place on the Kilkenny shore of 
the Barrow, between Groresbridge and Bagnalstown, 
the fort of the nail or point. The correct genitive 
is ion g. 1)1, which is represented in Clooningan in the 
parish of Achonry in Sligo {cloon, a meadow) ; and 
we find the plural in Drumingna in the parish of 
Kiltubbrid in Sligo, the hill-ridge of the talons. 

Tail. The Irish word earhall was often applied to 
the extremity of any natural feature, such as a long, 
low hill ; or to any long stripe of land, which was 
either the extremity of a larger portion, or which was, 
for any reason, considered by the people to bear some 
resemblance to the tail of some animal. This word 
earhall [commonly pronounced urbal] signifies the 
tail of an animal ; and according to Cormac's glossary, 
it is derived from iar, hinder, and hall, a member. In 
its topographical application, it is liable to singular 

CHAP, xxiii.] She ; Shape, 403 

corruptions in pronunciation, in tlie several wa,ys 
illustrated by the names that follow. It will be 
observed also that the people often imagined they saw 
in certain features a likeness, not merely to a tail, 
but to the tail of some particular animal. 

Urbal, which is a correct anglicised form, is the 
name of several townlands in some of the northern 
counties. There is a place near the town of Mon- 
aghan called Urbalkirk, which signifies the tail of 
the cark or hen ; Urbalshinny in Donegal is the fox's 
tail (scannach, a fox). In some of the Ulster counties 
it is made warhle ; as we see in Warbleshinny about 
three miles south of Derry, the same name as the last. 
In Connaught, the word is usually pronounced, by a 
metathesis, r?fi(^/<?; and this corruption is reproduced 
in the name of two townlands called Hubble in Mayo 
and Leitrim. The townland of Erribul near the Clare 
side of the Shannon, opposite Foynes, exhibits the 
usual Munster pronunciation. 

Ear. In designating places by their shape, the 
ear was a favourite object of comparison. A lateral, 
semi-detached portion of land, or a long stripe, would 
often be called an ear ; and this fancied likeness has 
given origin to some odd freaks of nomenclature. 
Cluas [cloos] is the Irish word for ear : in local names 
it usually takes the forms of cloos and cloosh. Near 
Castlegregory in Kerry is a townland called Cloos- 
guire — Cluas-gadJiair, the dog's ear ; and there is 
another near Mountrath in Queen's County, called 
ClooscuUen, with a similar signification — Chias-coil- 
eain, the whelp's ear. One of the innumerable small 
lakes in the parish of Moyrus in Galway, is called 
Lough Clooshgirrea, the lake of the hare's ear (see 
p. 293). With the c eclipsed by g in the genitive 
plural, we have Lisnagloos in the parish of Killora in 

2 D 2 

404 Size ; Slicipe. [chap, xxiit. 

Galway, south of Atlieniy, and Coolnagloose in tlie 
parish of Kilcavan in Wexford, the former signifying 
the fort, and the latter the angle, of the ears. 

Tongue. The Irish word feanga [tanga] a tongue, 
is often applied to long-shaped pieces of land or 
water, just in the same sense as we say in English 
" a tongue of land." There is a place called Bryan- 
tang in the county Antrim, not far from Ballycastle, 
which derives the latter part of its name from a tongue 
of land at the meeting of two streams : the little 
tongue itself is now called " Bryantang Braes." The 
first part bri/aii, represents the Irish bruighean (see 
Bohernabreena in 1st Ser.), a fairy fort ; for a re- 
markable ancient circular fort stood not long since 
near the junction of the streams, but it is now obli- 
terated : — Bryantang, the fairy-fort of the tongue. 
Just before the river Inny falls into Lough Ree, it 
is joined by the little river Tang, two miles from 
Ballymahon. There are two townlands in Donegal 
called Tangaveane, middle tongue (reane from 
mead/ion : p. 417) : Tangincartoor in Mayo, the 
tongue of the cartron or quarter-land. 

SkulL The word claigeann [claggan], which sig- 
nifies a skull, is often applied to a round, dry, hard, 
or rocky hill ; and in this sense it gives names to all 
those places now called Clagan, Claggan, and Cleggan. 
The adjective form Claigcannach is used to designate 
a place full of round rocky hills, from which we have 
such townland names as Clegnagh and Clagnagh. 
And the simple plural is exhibited in Clegna, the 
name of a place east of Boyle in Roscommon, i. e. 
skulls or round hills. 

Breast. The front of a hill, a projection from its 
general body, is often designated by the word uehf, 
which signifies the breast. The most correct angli- 

CHAP. XXIII.] Size; Shajjc. 405 

cised form is ug/tt, whicli is seen in Uglitjmeill near 
Moynalty in the county Meatli, O'Neill's hill-breast 
(//for : see p. 133, si(piri). But it more often 
takes the form ought ; of which an excellent example 
is seen in Oughtmama, the name of a parish in Clare, 
meaning the breast or front of the maani or mountain 
pass — Oughtymoyle and Oughtymore in the parish 
of Magilligau in Derry, signifying bare breast and 
great breast respectively, the y being a corruption in 
both names. 

There is a small island in the eastern side of Lough 
Mask, about four miles south west of Ballinrobe, 
called Inishoght, the island of the breast ; and the 
Four Masters mention another little island of the 
same name, which they call Inin-ocJda, in Lough 
Macnean in Fermanagh, as the scene of a fight be- 
tween the 0'E,ourkes and the MacEannalls in A.D. 
1499. But this name, though used in the last cen- 
tury, is now forgotten ; the present name of the islet 
is Inishee, i. e. Inis-Aedha, the island of Aedh or 
Hugh ; and according to the tradition quoted by 
O'Donovan (Four M., IV. — p. 1250 m.) it received 
this name from a king named Acdh who once lived 
on it. Inishee or Hugh's Island is also the name of 
a place in the parish of Clonfert in the east of the 
county Galway. There is a parish in the east of 
Gralway, including within it the village of Eyrecourt, 
now called Donanaghta ; but in the Inquisitions the 
name is written Doonanought, both of which point 
to the meaning, the fort of the breast, i. e. built on 
the breast of a hill. 

Cleft. The word gag [gaug] means a cleft, chink, 
a split or chasm in a rock. It is well represented in 
Coolnagaug near Kinsale in Cork, in Grarrygaug in 
the south of Kilkenny, and in Ballygauge in Queen's 

406 8ize ; Shape. [chap, xxiii. 

Countj ; the angle, the garden, and the town, of the 
cleft or chasm. Graugin mountain, eight miles west 
of Stranorlar in Donegal — Graugin, little cleft — must 
have taken its name from some chasm in its side. 

There is another word slightly different from this 
in sound, used in Munster, and especially in Clare — 
namely goug, or as it would be spelled in Irish, 
gohhag ; and this is applied to a split or cavern in a 
cliff, or to a narrow nook into which the sea -enters — 
a long narrow sea inlet. The diminutive Grougane 
is the name of a towuland near the village of Banteer 
in the north of Cork ; and Grougane Barra (for which 
see 1st Ser.) is well known to every Irish tourist. A 
little stream called Gougane flows into the strait 
separating Yalentia Island in Kerry from the main- 

Kneading trough. In former days when families 
generally made their own bread, a kneading trough 
was an article found in almost every house. Losaid, 
or in an anglicised form, losset, is the Irish word for a 
kneading trough ; and curiously enough it is in very 
common use, as a component in local names. Here, 
however, the allusion seems to be not so much to shape, 
as to use and production ; for the word is applied to 
a well tilled and productive field, or to good rich 
land. A farmer will call such a field a losset, because 
he sees it covered with rich produce, like a kneading 
trough with dough. The word is used in this sense 
chiefly in the northern counties, but it is also found 
in the south ; and in the form of Losset, it is the 
name of a dozen townlauds, in various counties from 
Donegal to Tipperary. Cappanalosset in the' parish 
of Lemanaghan in King's County,' signifies the 
garden-plot of the lossets, i. e. a rich, productive 

CHAP. XXIII.] Size ; Shape. 407 

The genitive and plural form is loiste [lusty], and 
this gives name to all those places now called Lustia 
and Lusty — both signifying simply fertile spots. 
There is one example of the genitive in the Four 
Masters, namely at A.D. 1597, where they mention 
a place called Druim-na-loiste, the ridge of the 
kneading trough ; which is situated near Inver in 
Donegal, and is now called Drumnalost. Another 
anglicised form is seen in Loyst, the name of a place 
near Rockcorry in Monaglian, which also occurs in 
Tullaghaloyst in the parish of Currin in the same 
county, the hill of the /osset : Annaloist near Porta- 
down in Armagh, shows the word compounded with 
afh a ford. Aghalust near the village of Ardagh in 
Longford, is the same as Aghalustia near Ballagha- 
derreen in Mayo, the field (acJuidh) of the kneading 
trough, i. e. simply a rich fertile field. 

Trough. Anuir or nniar signifies a trough or font ; 
and the term is locally applied to designate a hollow 
place. Both the sound and sense are well preserved 
in Lugganammer and Leganamer, two townlands in 
Leitrim, the names of which mean the itig or hollow 
of the trough, i. e. a lug formed like a trough. So 
also Bohammer near Balgriffin in Dublin, written in 
the Inquisitions Bothomer, which comes near the Irish 
Both-amuir, the hut of the trough ; Glennanummer 
in the parish of Kilcumreragh in the north of King's 
County, and Grlennanammer near Athleague on the 
Roscommon side of the Shannon, both of which mean 
the glen of the troughs — a glen in which there are 
deep pools. 

In some cases a ^ or a ^; is inserted after the ;;?, in 
accordance with a phonetic law already examined 
(1st Ser., Part I., cm.). This is the case in Killy- 
number in the parish of Kilcronaghan in Derry, 

408 Size ; Shape. [chap, xxiil. 

wliicli represents Coill-an-umair, the wood of the 
trough ; as well as in Coolumber in the parish of 
Moore, in the south of Eoscommon, and in Coolamber 
on the boundary of Longford and Westmeath, both 
having names of similar import to Culdaff, signifying 
the back of the trough or deep hollow ; and we have 
a p in Cloondahamper five or six miles east of Tuam 
in Galway, the meadow of the two {da) hollows. 

Caldron. Eound deep hollows were often desig- 
nated by the several Irish terms which correspond 
with such English words as vat, keeve, caldron, &c ; 
just as the crater of a volcano was so called from the 
Grreek word krater, a cup or chalice. Coire [curra, 
curry] signifies a caldron or boiler— such a caldron 
as was always kept in every public victualling house, 
and in every chieftain's kitchen. Locally the word 
was applied to a deep round hollow in a mountain, 
often also to the deep pool formed under a cataract, 
and sometimes to a whirlpool in the sea. In such 
applications it is very common in Scotland, but it is 
not so much used in Ireland. There are two town- 
lands in Tipperary, one near the village of Toomy- 
vara, the other near Kilsheelan, called Poulakerry ; 
and there is a place at Glanmire near Cork city, 
called Poulacurry — all from PoU-a^-cJtoirc, the cal- 
dron-hole. In the wild district east of Achill Island 
in Mayo, there are two mountain lakes, one called 
Corrjdoughaphuill, the caldron of the lake of the 
hole — a name sufficiently expressive in all conscience ; 
the other Corranabinnia, the caldron of the bin or 
peak — the peak being a very high mountain which 
rises over the lake. 

In the sound betwen Eathlin Island and the coast 
of Antrim, there is a whirlpool caused by the vio- 
lent conflict of the tides, which was in old times as 

cttAP. XXIII.] Size; Shape. 409 

celebrated among the Irish as Charybdis was among 
the ancient Greeks ; and it was known by the name 
of Coire-Breacain [Corry-Breekan or Corryvreckan], 
Brecan's caldron. Cormac MacCullenan in his Glos- 
sary, written in the ninth century, gives the following 
spirited account of this great Avhirlpool : — " Coire 
Brecain, i. e. a great whirlpool which is between Ire- 
land and Scotland to the north, in the meeting of 
the various seas, viz., the sea which encompasses 
Ireland at the north west, and the sea which encom- 
passes Scotland at the north east, and the sea to the 
south between Ireland and Scotland. They whirl 
round like moulding compasses, each of them taking 
the place of the other, like the paddles of a mill-wheel, 
until they sucked into the depths, so that the 
caldron remains with its mouth wide open ; and it 
would suck even the whole of Ireland into its yawning 
gullet. It vomits that draught up again, so that its 
thunderous eructation and its bursting and its roar- 
ing are heard among the clouds, like the steam-boiling 
of a caldron on the fire." 

He then goes on to say that a certain merchant 
named Brecan, grandson of Niall of the Nine 
Hostages (Niall died in A. D. 405), had fifty curraehs 
or boats trading between Ireland and Scotland, and 
that on one occasion they were all swallowed up 
(with Brecan himself) in this caldron. Hence the 
name Coire-Breacain,'QveG?i\\^^ caldron, which Adam- 
nan, who mentions it. Latinises Charyhdis Brecani. 
The old name has been long forgotten however, and 
the whirlpool is now known by an equally expressive 
one among the people of Antrim and llathlin, viz. 
Slog-na-mara, the swallow of the sea fv. pp. 378, 248). 
The name is remembered in Scotland, but it is ap- 
plied to a dangerous whirlpool between the islands 

410 Size; Shape. [chap, xsiii. 

of Scarba and Jura, which is mentioned by Sir 
Walter Scott in " The Lord of the Isles"— 

" And Seurba'tj islo, whoso tortured shore 
' Still rings to Corrievreken's roar." 

That the original Corry Breekan was that between 
Antrim and Rathlin, and that the name was borrowed 
by the monks of Zona for the Western Isles, is made 
quite evident from the authorities quoted by Dr. 
lieeves in his " Adamnan," p. 29, and in his " Eccle- 
siastical Antiquities," p. 289.* 

Vat. DahJiach [davagh] signifies a vat, a kieve, 
or large tub : it occurs in Irish names much oftener 
than the last term ; and it is generally applied to a 
well, a deep pit or pool, or to any deep hollow like a 
vat or caldron. Davagh, its most correct anglicised 
form, is the name of some townlands in Monaghan 
and Tyrone ; MuUandavagh near Clones in Mo- 
naghan, the summit of the vat-like hollow ; Grlen- 
davagh near Aughnacloy in Tyrone, means a glen 
having deep pools along its course (like Grlennanum- 
mer : p. 407). 

One of the genitive forms of this word is daihltche 
[divha, diha], which is variously modified in the 
modern forms of names. It is well represented in 
Grortnadihy in the parish of Kilmeen in Cork, which 
in the " Genealogy of Corca Laidhc^ is called Gort- 
na-daihhche, the field of the vat or round hollow. 
There is another place of the same name nea.r Skib- 
bereen in the same county ; and two called Gortna- 
diha in Waterford, which is still the same name. So 

* In the latter there is a complete account of Coiic-Brcacain^ 
from which I have condensed the sketch given here. 

CHAP, xxiii.] Size ; Shape. 411 

also Knocknadiha in Limerick, Drumdiha in Tippe- 
rary, and Dromdihj in Cork, all meaning the hill of 
the round hollow. Portdeha(portofthevat) is the name 
of a little bight on the eastern shore of Aranmore ; but 
this name is now accounted for by a legend in the 
life of St. Endeus, which is related at length by the 
Rev. W. Kilbride in his description of Aranmore 
(Kilk. Arch. Jour. 1868, p. 106). 

In these names the bh sound is suppressed and 
that of ch retained as an h ; but in other names it is 
the reverse — such for example as Letterdife in the 
parish of Moyrus in Galway, the hill-side of the vat. 
We have a diminutive form of the word in Lough- 
deheen in the parish of Lisnakill near Waterford 
city ; in Loughdiheen, one of the mountain lakes 
under Graltymore ; and in Rindifin near Gort in 
Gralway, the two first of which mean the lake, and 
the last the point, of the little vat or pool. In Done- 
gal this word is sometimes applied to a flax-dam, 
which is illustrated in Culdaff (Cooledagh, Inq.), 
the name of a village and parish in Inishowen, sig- 
nifying the cul or back of the flax-dam. 

Fake or pseudo men. In various parts of Ireland, 
a standing stone, whether natural or artificial, placed 
in a conspicuous position, so as to look at a distance 
something like the figure of a man, is called by the 
name /ear-b)-eige [farbreaga], literally a false man — 
a fantastic or pseudo man ; or if there be two or more, 
together, fir-hreige [firbreaga], false men. The term 
is also applied to a scare-crow, or to any artificial 
object made to represent a man. In some cases such 
stones have given names to tlie townlands or hills 
on which they stand ; as in Farbreague in the parish 
of Moyne in Wicklow ; Farbreague, a hill lying five 
miles north east of Roscrea in Tipperary ; and Far- 

412 Si:e; Sltain'. [chap, xxili. 

Tbreagues, east of Atbleague in Eoscommou. There 
is a Farbregagh — a tall rock in the sea— at the north 
side of Scarritf Island outside Ilenmare Bay ; and a 
group of standing stones on one of the Ballyhoura 
hills, on the borders of Cork and Limerick, is called 

Sometimes the word huacliaill, a boy, is used in- 
stead oifear. The hill lying immediately south of 
Knocklayd, near Ballycastle in Antrim, is called 
Bohilbreaga. Near the village of Ballj-neety in 
Limerick, there is a long stone standing on the top 
of a hill, which may be seen on the right of the rail- 
way as you approach Pallas from Limerick ; and it 
is well known by the name of Boughal-breaga : there 
is also a Boghil Bregagh near the demesne of >Sea- 
forde in the parish of Loughinisland in Down. The 
word huacliaill itself, without the other term, is often 
applied to a standing stone. There is a mountain 
called Boughil, five miles from Kenmare ; and the 
driver of the car will point out the couspicuous stand- 
ing rock — the houcjJiil himself — which gave name to 
the mountain, on the left of the road as you go to 
Killarney. And several townlands in various parts 
of Leland are called Boughill and Boghill, whose 
names originated similarly. Boughilbo is a town- 
laud near Shanagolden in Limerick, the name of which 
signifies " cow-boy." 

The word hrcug [breague] signifies a lie ; and in 
several senses, and in various modified forms, it is 
pretty commonly used in the formation of local names. 
There is a townlaud called Dromorebrague near 
Louglibrickland in Down, concerning which the 
people have a local tradition, that the founders of 
Dromore in the same county, at first intended the 
town to be here ; but that they changed their minds 

nuAP. xxiii.] Size; Shape, 413 

and built it on its present site, so that the former 
place was called Dromorebrague, false or pseudo 
Dromore. The city of Armagh has also a similar 
representative — a sort of shadow, or ghost, or fetch, of 
itself, viz., Armaghbrague in the parish of Lisnadill 
in the same county. 

The term is sometimes used to designate streams 
that are subject to sudden and dangerous floods, or 
which flow through deep quagmires ; and in this case 
it means deceitful or treacherous. An excellent ex- 
ample is the little river Bregoge in Cork, which joins 
the Awbeg (the Mulla of Spenser) near Doneraile. 
Bregoge is a diminutive of breug (see p. 28) and sig- 
nifies "little liar or deceiver." This river is formed 
by the junction of the principal stream which rises 
in a deep glen on the side of Corrinmore hill, with 
three others — all four of the same length, flowing 
down the face of the Ballyhoura hills, and meeting 
nearly in the same spot, whence the united stream 
runs on to the Awbeg. These rivulets carry very 
little water in dry weather ; but whenever a heavy 
shower falls on the hills, four mountain floods rush 
down simultaneously, and meet together nearly at 
the same instant, swelling the little rivulet in a few 
moments to an impetuous and dangerous torrent. 
This little stream is celebrated by Spenser in his 
" Colin Clouts come home again ;" he calls it "False 
Bregoge," which is quite a correct interpretation ; 
and in his own fanciful way, he accounts for the 
name in one of the most beautiful pastorals in the 
English language. 

There is a little stream called Breagagh about 
three miles south east of Thurles in Tipperary ; and 
another of the same name flows near the city of Kil- 
kenny ; but these probably received their names from 

414 Situation. [chap. xxiv. 

flowing througli treacherous marshes. A name of 
similar import is Srahanbregagh in the parish of 
Ettagh, south of Birr in King's County — false 
sruhan or little stream. I'he bay of Trawbreaga at 
Malin in Donegal, well deserves its name, Traigh- 
hrege— so Colgan writes it— treacherous strand ; for 
the tide rises there so suddenly that it has often 
swept away people walking incautiously on the 



The relative situation of a place with regard to one 
or more others, is a circumstance that has been often 
taken advantage of in the formation of local names ; 
so that several of the terms expressive of this sort of 
relation, such as those for upper, lower, middle, far, 
near, lateral direction, outer or beyond, &c., are 
quite common in every part of Ireland as forming 
part of our nomenclature. 

U-pper. Uachdar signifies the upper part. It is 
also the word for cream (as being on the top of the 
milk), but we may leave this meaning out of the 
question here, though in some places the people be- 
lieve that this is the sense it bears in local names. 
It is sometimes used to designate a high place simply ; 
but it is oftener applied in a comparative sense to in- 
dicate that the place is higher than some other in the 
same neighbourhood. Its usual form is ougJiter, which 
is easily recognised. There is a hill a mile north of 
the Eecess hotel, on the road from Clifden to Gal way, 
just at the eastern base of the Twelve Pins, called 

CHAP. XXIV.] Situation. 415 

Lissoughter, upper fort, probably from a lis or fort 
on its summit. Jiilloughter, upper church, is a place 
near Rathnew in Wicklov/, which gives its name to 
a railway station; and there is a townland of the 
same name near Bally liaise in Cavan. The townland 
of Ballyoughter in the parish of Moyaliff in Tippe- 
rary, should have been called Bella-oughter ; for the 
name was originally applied to a ford across the 
Clodiagh river, over which there is now a bridge ; 
and its Irish form is Bel-atJia-uachdair, the mouth of 
the upper ford. There are places of this name in the 
same county and in Mayo, and some townlands in 
Wexford called Balloughter ; but these are probably 
Baile-uacJidar, upper town. Oughteranny, partly 
the name of a barony in Kildare, is anglicised from 
Uachdar-fhine, upper j^»cs or district. 

The adjective form uocJtdarach is as common as the 
original ; it is seen in its several anglicised forms in 
Ballyoughteragh, Ballyoughtragh, and Ballyough- 
tra; all signifying upper town. The word uachdar 
is not unfrequently anglicised ivater ; as in Clowater 
near Borris in Carlo w, Cloch-naclidar, upper stone or 
stone castle ; and this change operating on the ad- 
jective form has given origin to Watree near Gow- 
ran in Kilkenny, which is simply the phonetic reduc- 
tian of UacJidayaighe, upper lands. 

Loicer. The opposite term to uachdar is iochdar, 
which signifies lower ; and this and the adjective 
form iochdarach, appear in anglicised names in such 
forms as eighter, eighteragh, etra, &c , which are illus- 
trated inCarroweighter in Roscommon, lower quarter- 
land ; in Broighter on the railway line between 
Mngilligan and Derry, hroghiochdar, lower hyugh or 
fort; and in Moyeightragh near Killarney, lower 
plain. In the parish of Desertoghill in Derry, there 


416 Situation. [chap. xxiv. 

are two adjacent townlands called MoyletraKill and 
Moyletra Toy. Moyletra signifies lower mael or hill ; 
kill is " church ;" toy is tuatli, a layman, or belonging 
to the laity ; and these two distinguishing terms 
indicate that one of the townlands belonged to some 
church, and the other to a lay proprietor. 

Yery often when a townland was divided into two, 
the parts were distinguished by the terms oughtcr and 
cigMcr, upper and lower, or by the anglicised adjec- 
tive forms otra and dra, or otre and etre ; which is 
seen in Moy Etra and Moy Otra in the parish of 
Clontibret in Monaghan, lower Moy (plain) and 
upper Moy ; as well as in many other names. 

Low. Iseal [eeshal] means low in situation. In 
its most correct anglicised form it is seen in Gort- 
eeshal near Ballj^poreen in Tipperary, low field ; and 
in Agheeshal in Monaghan, low ford. There is 
another much better known place of this name in 
Tipperary, on the river Suir, four miles from Cashel, 
but incorrectly anglicised Athassel, where stand the 
fine ruins of the priory founded in the twelfth century 
by William Fitz-Adelm. The annalists write the 
name Ath-iseal, and the ford was probably so called 
to distinguish it from the ford at Grolden, a mile 
higher up the river. The people of the place, how- 
ever, believe that it means merely "shallow ford"; 
for they say that even children can cross it when the 
river is in its ordinary state. 3Iagh-iseal [Moy-eeshal] 
low plain or field, is the name of several places, but 
it is usually contracted to two syllables : in Carlow 
it assumes the form of Myshall, the name of a village 
and parish ; in the parish of Magourney in Cork, is 
the townland of Meeshall ; and near Bandon in the 
same county, there is a place called Mishells, low 

CHAP, xsiv.] Situation. 417 

Middle. "We have several words for middle, the 
most common of which is eadar [adder], old Irish 
form etar, cognate with Latin inter : the literal mean- 
ing of the word is *' between." Names were formed 
from this word on account of the position of the places 
or objects between two others. It is seen in Grrag- 
adder near Kilcock in Kildare, central graig or 
village. Similar to this in signification are Adder- 
ville and Adderwal in Donegal, both meaning central 
town, the last syllable of each representing the Irish 
haile. Another form is exhibited in Ederglen in 
Mayo, and Edercloon in Longford, central glen and 
meadow. The Four Masters mention a church 
situated somewhere near Armagh, called Magh-etir- 
di-ghlais, the plain between the two streams ; which 
Dr. Reeves (Adamn. p. 154, note) considers is pro- 
bably Magheraglass in the parish of Kildress near 
Cookstown in Tyrone ; for besides the similarity of 
the names, there are in this townland the remains of 
an ancient chapel. 

From eadar, by the addition of the suffix naeh 
(p. 6) is derived the adjective form eadarnach ; from 
which comes Edernagh near Cookstown in Tyrone, 
meaning central place. The obliqae inflection changes 
this to Ederny, which is the name of a village in the 
north of Fermanagh. There are two townlands in 
the same county called Dooederny, black central- 
land {doo from duhh, black). Another adjective form 
is eadavaeh^ which gives name to Ballj^addragh near 
Greenore point, south of Wexford harbour ; and to 
Dunadry three miles from the town of Antrim (pro- 
nounced by the Scotch settlers Dun-eddery), central 
dun or fort, in which the termination is modified by 
oblique inflection. 

Mrad/toii [maan] is anotlier term for middle, cor- 

418 Situation. [chap. xxiv. 

responding with Latin medius. In one of its angli- 
cised forms it is seen in luishmaan, the name of the 
middle island of Aran in Galway bay ; and there are 
other islands of the same name in the slightly modi- 
fied forms of Inishmean and Inishmaine, in Lough 
Melvin and Lough Mask. Inishmaine near the 
eastern shore of Lough Mask, has the ruins of an 
abbey which is mentioned by the Four Masters at 
A.D. 1223, by the name of Iim-meadhon. The 
barony of Kilmaine and the parish of Kilmainemore 
in Mayo, both take their names from an old church 
situated in the parish, which the annalists call Cill- 
meadhon, middle church. The adjective form mead/ion- 
ach [maanagh] also enters into names, usually in 
the forms menagh and mena ; as in Drummenagh, the 
name of some townlands in Armagh, Tyrone, and 
Fermanagh, middle ridge. But the m is often aspi- 
rated to V, an instance of which is Reevanagh in the 
parish of Tiscoffin in Kilkenuy, middle reidh or moun- 
tain flat. 

The word Idr [laur], which properly signifies the 
ground, or a floor, is used to denote the middle ; and 
in this sense it often finds its way into names, usually 
in the forms of /'/re or laiir. Rosslare is a long narrow 
peninsula near Wexford, giving name to a parish ; 
its name signifies middle peninsula ; and it was pro- 
bably so called as being the boundary between Wex- 
ford Haven and the outer sea. Ballinlaur in the 
parish of Kilreekil in Galway, is Baih-an-ldir, the 
town of the middle, or middle town ; Enuislare in 
the parish of Lisnadill in Armagh, middle island or 
river meadow. 

Across. Tarsna signifies across, i. e. it is applied 
to anything having a transverse position with respect 
to something else. The word is always anglicised 

CHAP. XXIV.] Situation, 419 

iarsna, or by metathesis, trasna, and cannot be mis- 
taken, so that one or two illustrations will be suffi- 
cient, Kiltrasna is the name of a townland in 
Cavan, and of another in Gralway, whose Irish form 
is Coill-tarsna, cross-wood ; Drumtarsna near Bor- 
risoleigh in Tipperary, cross ridge. Trasna is the 
name of a townland in Fermanagh, and Tarsna of 
another in Tipperary ; there is a small island in 
Strangford Lough called Trasnagh ; one in Upper 
Lough Erne, and another in Lower Lough Erne, 
near Enniskillen, called Trasna ; aH so called on 
account of their transverse position. 

Near, outer. The word gar, near, is occasionally 
employed to form names. In the centre of Glengar- 
riff bay, is a little island called Garinish, near 
island ; it was so called by the people of Gleugarriff 
to indicate its relative position in respect to the more 
distant island of Whiddy; so also Garinish near 
Sneem is compared with Sherky, lying further out ; 
and there are several other islets of the same name 
round the coast of Cork and Kerry. 

The whole district in which the village and parish 
of Kiltamagh in Mayo are situated, was formerly 
wooded, which is plainly indicated by the number 
of local names in the neighbourhood containing the 
word coill a word, or the plural coillte ; such as 
Kyletrasna, cross wood ; Kylewee, yellow wood ; 
and " The Woods," which is the name of a little 
hamlet one mile from Kiltamagh. Two miles east 
of the village, there are two small lakes near each 
other ; one called Cuiltybo (lake), the woods of the 
cow, which is also the name of places elsewhere ; 
and the other Cuiltybobigge (lake), the woods of 
the little cow. The Irish name of the village and 
parish is Coillte-amuch, outer woods ; and the people 


420 The Cardinal Points. [chap. xxv. 

say that these old woods were so called because they 
formed the western or outer extremity of the ancient 



"When we find the term for one of the cardinal points 
forming part of a local name, we may infer that 
the object or place was so called on account of its 
direction, either from the people who gave it the 
name, or from some other place or object or territory 
lying near it. 

The four cardinal points were designated by the 
Irish in the same way as by the ancient Hebrews 
and the Indians ; for they got names which expressed 
their position with regard to a person standing with 
his face to the east.* 

£ast. The original Irish word for the east is oir 
[ur, er] ; which however, is often written soir and 
t/ioio' [sur, liur] ; and a derivative form oirtJiear 
[urher, erlier] , is used in the oldest Irish writings. 
Moreover, the first and last are often written air and 
rt//'/Aear (fl/r is everything eastern: Cor. GL). Our 
ancient literature afi'ords ample proof that these 
words were used from the earliest times to signify 
both the front and the east, and the same double 
application continues in use at the present day. 
As one instance out of many, may be cited the two- 
fold translation of airiher in the ancient druidical 

* See Zeuss ; Gniin. Celt, page 57, note. 

CHAP. XXV.] The Cardinal JP 01 nU. 421 

prophecy of the coming of St. Patrick: — " A viiasa 
i n-aivthcr a tigJd" (his dishes [shall be] in the east 
of his house). For while Murchu, in the Book of 
Armagh, translates aivtlicr by the Latin word 
anterior, or front, on the other hand the same word 
in the same passage has been translated by its more 
usual equivalent oriens or orientalis (i. e, east) in the 
Scholia to Fiech's Hymn, and in several of the 
Lives of St. Patrick — (See Eeeves's Adamnan — page 

Oir is usually represented in anglicised names by 
er. It commonly occurs in the end of names, and 
when it does, it always carries the accent, a test by 
which it may generally be recognised. TuUaher 
(accent on her) the name of a townlaud and also of 
a lake, four miles nearly east of Kilkee in Clare, 
represents the Irish Tiikich-oir, eastern hill ; 
Emlagher in the parish of Carn in Kildare, two 
miles south of Curragh Camp, and Annagher at the 
village of Coal Island, four miles from Dungannon 
in Tyrone — both signify eastern marsh {imieach, 
canach, a marsh). 

There is a celebrated abbey near Killarney which 
is now always known by the name of Mucross ; but 
this is really the name of the peninsula on which it 
stands (see Mucross in 1st Ser.), and the proper 
name of the abbey, as we find it in many old autho- 
rities, is OirhJieallach [Ervallagh], the eastern (^cr^/c^fA 
or pass ; which Anglo Irish writers usually anglicise 
Irrelagh. The present abbey was built in the year 
1840, according to the Four Masters, for Franciscan 
friars, by Donall MacCarthy More, prince of Des- 
mond ; but we know from the Irish annals that a 
church was situated there long previously. There 
is a tradition current in the county regarding the 

422 The Cardinal Points. [chap. xxv. 

foundation of the abbey, that MacCarthy More was 
admonished in a vision to erect a monastery at a 
place called Cayyaig-an-chiuil [Carrigahule], the 
rock of the ccol or music ; but as he knew no such 
rock, he sent out a number of his followers to search 
for a place bearing this name. They searched long 
in vain, and were returning home unsuccessful and 
downcast; when as they were passing by OirbheaJach, 
they heard a sweet strain of music issuing from a 
rock ; and they came straight to their chieftain, and 
told him what had occurred, MacCarthy More 
hearing their story, at once concluded that this was 
the very rock which had been revealed to him in his 
vision, and he immediately began to build the 
monastery.* (See O'Donovan, Four M. III. 566.) 

This name OirbheaJach is found elsewhere also ; 
in the form of Ervallagh it designates three town- 
lands in Galway, one in Connemara, and the other 
two near Ahascragh. One mile from Headford in 
the same county, lie the ruins of the monastery of 
Rosserrily, which, according to the Four Masters, 
was founded for Franciscans in the year 1351. In 
recording its foundation they call it Ros-oirhhealaigh, 
the wood of the eastern pass, the sound of which is 
well conveyed by its present name ; but at the year 
1604 they call it l^os-Iriala, which would mean 
Irial's wood. It is likely that the former is the cor- 
rect ancient name. 

The other form orfhear, is also common in local 
nomenclature. The ancient kingdom of Oriel, which 
was founded by the three Collas in a.d. 332, com- 

* Tlie legend of miisric licnrd from rocks is very general in 
Ireland; and I lake it that this is the origin of the name 
Carrigaphecpera, the Piper's Koek, applied to certain rocks in 
many parts of the countiT : perhaps some ■were dancing places. 

CHAP. XXV.] TJie Cardinal Points. 423 

prised the present counties of Monagliau, Armagh, 
and Louth ; the eastern part of it, which was the 
patrimony of the O'Hanlons, received the name so 
often met with in our annals, Oirtheara [Orhera]. 
This word is plural, and was originally applied not to 
the territory, but to the inhabitants ; and it is trans- 
lated by several of the Latin-Irish writers Onenfales, 
i. e. easterns or eastern people ; and it was also 
called Crioch-na-nOirt/iear, which carries out the 
same idea ; for the latter part is in the genitive 
plural, and the whole designation has been trans- 
lated by Probus in his Life of St. Patrick, Eegio 
Orientalium, literally the country of the eastern 
people. But after a fashion very comm.on in Ireland, 
the territory ultimately got the name of the people 
who inhabited it ; and the ancient Airtheara still 
exists in the modernised form Orior, as the name of 
two baronies in the east of the county Armagh. 
The same anglicised form of Oirthear appears in 
Tullyorior, the name of a townland in the parish of 
Grarvaghy in Down, not far from Banbridge — 
eastern tnlacJi or hill. 

The most easterly of the old forts in the ancient 
Taillteann or Teltown (see Teltown in 1st. Ser.) on 
the Blackwater, near Kells in Meath, was called 
Rath-airthir, (Four M.) eastern fort ; but its present 
Irish name is Baile-orthaidhe [Ballyory], a modifi- 
cation of the old designation ; and this again has 
been translated into Oristown, which is now the 
name of a village and of two townlands, occui^ying 
the old site. The most eastern of the Aran islands 
is called by Cormac MacCulleuan Ara-airthir, i. e. 
eastern Aran. Its present anglicised name is 
Inisheer, which is very puzzling ; for it exactly re- 
presents the pronunciation of Inis-siarj western 

424 The Cardinal Points. [chap. xxv. 

island ; and it is hard to believe that it could have 
been modernised from Inis-soir — for I have never 
found soir represented, by sliccr, or oiv by cer, in 
anglicised names. Perhaps we may take Inisheer as 
it stands, and interpret it western island, on the 
supposition that this was a later name given to the 
island by the people of the mainland about Galway. 

lav [eer] signifies tlie hinder part, a meaning 
which is illustrated in the word iarhall, applied to 
the tail of an animal, i. e. the hinder hall or member 
(seep. 402). It also signifies the west; in wliich 
sense it appears in Ardaneer near Shanagolden in 
Limerick, the western height. 

This word more usually enters into names in the 
adjective form iarach or iarthach. There is a moun- 
tain called Baurearagh, over Glengarriff in Cork, 
near the tunnel on the Kenmare road, which also 
gives name to the stream flowing through the deep 
valley wdiich you cross going towards Kenmare after 
leaving the tunnel ; the name is Barr-iarach, western 
summit. Cloonearagh in Kerry and Roscommon, 
western cloon or meadow. The western extremity 
of Little Island in the Lee below Cork, is called In- 
chera, which was probably the original name of the 
whole island, for it means western island — Inis-iar- 
ihach — so called on account of its position with re- 
spect to the Great Island. 

As oiv is often used with an initial s, so iar is 
quite common in the form of siar [sheer]. Clonshire, 
a townland giving name to a parish in Limerick, 
was probably so called on account of its direction 
from Adare — Claaiii-siar, western meadow ; and 
Cloonshear near Inehigeelagh in Cork, has the same 

There is a derivative form, iarthar, corresponding 

cHAi'. XXV.] The Cardinal Points. 425 

with oirtJiear (pnge 420), wliicli is in very general use ; 
but as I have not found it in any of our surviving 
local names, I will not notice it further, 

Deas [dass] means literally the riglit hand side ; 
old Irish form des, corresponding with Lat. dextra, 
Grr. dcxia, Saiiscr. daks/ia ; and it is also the word 
for the south, as the right hand lies towards the 
south when the face is turned to the east. The word 
is used in both senses at the present day ; and it 
would be easy to prove by quotations from old Irish 
authorities, that this was the case in the very earliest 
ages. It is often written teas [tassj of which we have 
a very good example in Ratass, a parish in Kerry, 
near Tralee, which took its name from a fort : — 
lirith-teas, southern fort. 

This word as forming the names of two territories 
in Ireland, reminds us of an interesting event in our 
early history. In tlie time of Cormac MacArt, 
monarch of Ireland in the third century, there dwelt 
at the south side of Tara, a tribe descended from 
Fiacha-8i(ighdhe [Feeha See], who was brother of 
Conn of the Hundred Battles, and consequently 
Cormac's grand-uncle. As they lived south of Tara, 
tliey were called JDcsi, southerns, or southern people* 
(just like Airtheara, eastern people —p. 423); and 
the two baronies of Deese in Meath still retain their 

Cormac on one occasion sent his son Kellach with, 
a body of warriors to enforce the borumean tribute 
or cow tax, which Tuathal the Acceptable, king of 
Ireland, had imposed on Leinster about 150 years 

* This is the iuterpretation of Dr. Todd, Proc, R. I. A., 
MS. Ser., p. 25 ; and it is contirraed by Zeuss, Gram. Celt. 67, 

426 The Cardinal Points. [chap. xxv. 

before, and wliich the Leinster people scarcely ever 
paid without compulsion. Kellach returned with 
the cows; but he exceeded his instructions, and 
insulted the Leinstermen bj bringing also 150 
maidens into captivity. Among these there hap- 
pened to be one who belonged to the Desi, and not 
to the tribute paying tribes of Leinster. At this 
time the principal man of the Desi was Aengus, a 
powerful chieftain, who had proclaimed himself the 
defender of his tribe and the avenger of all insults 
offered to them ; and he always carried a celebrated 
spear which has become inseparably connected with 
his name, for he was called, and is known in history 
as, Aengus of the poison-javelin.* This chieftain was 
the maiden's uncle ; and as soon as he heard of the 
degradation of his kinswoman, he went straight to 
Tara, where he found her among others of the cap- 
tives, fetching water for the palace from the well of 
Nemnach. He returned with her to his own house, 
repaired again to Tara,t and this time went into the 
king's presence. Here after an angry altercation, 
Aengus slew the king's son, Kellach, with one 
thrust of his terrible spear ; and when drawing out 
the weapon in his fury, he accidentally struck the 
king's eye with the point and destroyed it ; while at 
the same moment the end of the handle struck the 
house steward and killed him on the spot. In the 
confusion that followed Aengus escaped and reached 
his home in safety. 

As it was unlawful for a king with a personal 
blemish to reign at Tara, Cormac abdicated and 
retired to a private residence at Acaill, or the hill 

* Irish, Aengus Gaei-biiaihhtech, 

t Keuting assigns a different cause for Aengus's hostility. 

CHAP. XXV.] The Cardinal Points. 427 

of Skreen, in the neiglibourliood of Tara, where he 
speut the remainder of his days. Meantime he 
began criminal proceedings against the Desi to re- 
cover damages for the threefold injury ; and in a 
great assembly convened on the hill of TJsnagh (in 
Westmeath), it was decided that the tribe, instead 
of being free as heretofore, should in future pay 
tribute to Cormac and his descendants, and acknow- 
ledge themselves as vassals for ever. The Desi re- 
jected these terms with indignation, and a long feud 
followed, which ended in the expulsion of the whole' 
tribe from their original home. They wandered 
for many 3'ears through different parts of Leinster 
and Munster, till at length they settled in the latter 
province, in a territory given to them by the Mun- 
ster king, Olioll Olum. This district lies in the 
present county of Waterford ; and the two baronies 
of Decies still preserve the name of the tribe, though 
they do not include the whole of the ancient territory. 
It will be observed that the original word Desi is 
plural (meaning people and not territory), and by 
the addition of the English inflection s, the idea of 
plurality is retained in the present name Decies.* 

Deisceart [deskart], a derivative from deas, is a 
term in more general use to designate the south than 
the original ; the latter syllable is cognate with 
Latin pars (for Irish c often corresponds to Latin 
p) : — deisceart, southern part or direction. From 
this word is derived the name of the two townlands 
of Deskart in Monaghan, and that of Diskirt in the 
parish of Ardclinis in Antrim. 

* This account has been taken from Dr. Todd's translation 
of the original in the ancient Book of Fermoy (Proc. K.I. A., 
INISS. Scr. 26). Another version, differing in some particuhirs, 
is given by O' Curry, Lect. 11. , o26. 

428 The Cardinal Points. [chap. xxv. 

Deiswl [dessliul] is another derivative from deas, 
and signifies towards the right hand, or southwards. 
The Celtic people were — and are still — accustomed 
to turn sunwise, i. e. from left to right, in the per- 
formance of various rites, some of them religious, 
some merely superstitious : and the word deisiol was 
used to designate this way of turning. Toland 
notices this custom (Celtic Rel. p. 143) ; and Martin 
describes it as existing in his day among the Scotic 
people of the Hebrides (p. 20). In Cormac's Glos- 
sary (voce prull) the spirit of jioetry in the form of 
" a young man, kingly, radiant," is stated to have 
met Sow// an 'Jhrpcid (chief poet of Ireland in the 
time of Guaire Aidhne king of Connaught in the 
seventh century), and " then he goes sunwise 
{clessiul) round Senchan and his people." Headers 
of Kenilworth will remember how the old leech 
made i\\Q demil by walking three times in the direc- 
tion of the sun round the wounded Edward, before 
beginning his examination of the wound. Even at 
this day the Irish peasantry when they are burjdng 
their dead, walk at least once — sometimes three 
times — round the grave yard with the coffin from 
left to right. From left to right is considered lucky ; 
the opposite direction, unlucky. Tempo or Tempo- 
Deshill in J^^ermanagh, has been already quoted as 
deriving its name from this custom ; and the word 
also forms part of Modeshil, the name'^ of a parish in 
Tij^perary ; but here it is probably intended to 
designate simple direction : — Macjh-deiaiol,, southern 

Taaitli [tooa] means properly the left hand ; and 
as dea>i is applied to the south, so this word is used 
to signify the north. About eleven miles due north 
from liatass (p. 425), there is another parish with 

CHAP. xxvi.J Various Circumstances. 429 

the corresponding name oi Jioiioo :— Rath-tuaidh, 
northern fort. It took its name from a rath ; but 
whether Ratass and Rattoo received their names by 
comparison one v/ith another, or each with some 
other rath, I will not undertake to determine. 

The word assumes various forms which are exem- 
plified in the following names. There is a place 
called Kiltoy, one mile from Letterkenny in Donegal, 
whose name is a corruption of the Irisli Cul-tuaidJiy 
northern cool or back of a hill. Much the same 
meaning has Tievetooey in the parish of Temple- 
earn in the same county, northern hill-side (taebl/) ; 
Cloontooa in Galway and Mayo, northern meadow. 
"Very often the first t is changed to h by aspiration, 
as in Drumhoy in the parish of Aghavea in Fer- 
managh — Druim-thucdgh, northern ridge. And in 
Cork and Kerry we often find a hard g in the end ; 
as in Raheenyhooig near Dingle, Raithinidhe-thuaig 
northern little forts. 

Corresponding with deiscearf, we have fuaisceart, 
— northern part or direction, which enters into the 
names of Cloontuskert and Clontuskert, already 
quoted in First Series. (See for ample illustration 
of this word, Eeeves, Eccl. Ant. p. 71.) 



Disputes about land are of common occurrence in 
all countries where the population is moderately 
dense, and where the majority of the people are 
engaged in agricultural pursuits. In Ireland there 
have been plenty of such contentions, from the ear- 

430 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

liest historical times to tlie present day ; and I sup- 
pose they will never entirely cease. We have a 
singular way of recording squabbles of this kind, 
for the lands themselves often retain names indicat- 
ing the feuds maintained by the parties who disputed 
their possession. We see this in plain English in 
" Controversy," the name of a townland in the parish 
of Killoscully in Tipperary ; and in " Controversy 
Land " in the north of Queen's County ; both of 
which are translations of some of the Irish terms that 
follow. It is also seen in " Clamper Land," a place 
in the parish of Lower Cumber in Derry, whose 
name means disputed land ; for clampar is a wrangle 
or a dispute. The same word, and for a like reason, 
appears in Clamperpark near Athenry in Gralway ; 
in Coolaclamper near Cahir in Tipperary (cm/, a hill- 
back) ; and in Clampernow in the parish of Clon- 
dermot in Derry, " new controvers}^" i. e. land 
which had recently been the subject of dispute. 

Imreas [immeras] means a controversy or dispute 
of any kind. There are fields in various parts of the 
south of Ireland, called Parkanimerish, the field of 
the controversy — one for instance near Mitchelstown 
in Cork ; Boulanimerish {hall a spot) is a place near 
Killorglin in Kerry ; Meenanimerish is situated four 
miles north east of Killybegs in Donegal {nicoi a 
mountain meadow) ; and Ummeras, which signifies 
simply contention, is the name of a townland in the 
parish of Lackagh in Kildare. A name very like 
these is Uuintinmanus near Dungaunou, the first 
part of which is coiiiti)/, controversy : — Manus's con- 
troversy or disputed land. 

Several other terms are used to express conten- 
tions, disputes, and squabbles of various kinds ; but 
it would not be safe to assert that the land bearing 

CHAP. XXVI.] Vcirioiis Circumstances. 431 

the name was itself, in every case, the subject of the 
dispute. In some at least of the following cases, we 
may assume that the name merely commemorates a 
contention ; but what it was all about it would now 
be vain to conjecture. Near Lismore in Waterford, 
there is a townland with the name of Knockacomor- 
tish, the second part of which is a common Irish 
word, comortus, signifying emulation, comparison, or 
contention. Probably the inference to be drawn from 
this name is, that the little hill [knock) was the scene 
of peasant gatherings in former times, where the 
young men used to contend with each other in 
hurling and other athletic games and sports. 

There is a townland in the parish of Templeport 
in Cavan, called Tullynaconspod, the hill of the con- 
troversy (consjjoid). Trodan signifies a quarrel ; and 
from this word we have the names of two places in 
Armagh : — Carricktroddan in the parish of Grrange, 
and Ballytroddan in the parish of Clonfeacle, the 
rock, and the townland, of the quarrel or strife. 

The word togher we know generally signifies a 
causeway ; but in a few cases it represents the Irish 
word tachcu'y a battle or skirmish. The Carntogher 
mountains in Derry took their name from some par- 
ticular hill with a earn on its summit : and that from 
a battle fought round it at some unknown time, all 
record of which is lost except the old name, which 
Colgan writes Carn-tachair, battle mound. It is not 
improbable that the cam may have been erected in 
commemoration of the battle. There is a place near 
the town of Roscommon now called Cloontogher ; 
but the natives, when speaking Irish call it, not 
Cluain-tdchair, but Chiain-tachair ; and here we may 
conclude with certainty that the cloon or meadow 
was the scene of some memorable fight. The village 

432 Varmis Circnmsfances. [chap. xxyi. 

of BallintogVier in Sligo is mentioned tliree times by 
the Four Masters ; at 1566 they give the name 
Baile-an-tdcliaiv, the town of the causeway, which 
the present name correctly represents ; hut on two 
other occasions they call it Bel-an-tacliair, the ford- 
mouth of the battle. It is very unusual for the 
annalists to contradict themselves in the spelling of 
a name ; and perhaps we may suspect that in these 
records different places are meant. 

The Miskish mountains near Castletown Bear- 
haven in Cork, took their name from one particular 
hill, called Slieve Miskish, the mountain of enmity. 
The word mioscuis (the sound of which is exactly 
represented by Miskish) signifies enmitj'', spite, or 
hatred (nmcut's, odium ; Z. 749) ; and this name 
would seem to indicate that the possession of the 
mountain was long and bitterly disputed by two 
neighbouring clans or proprietors. 

Dunglow in Donegal took its name from a fight or 
contention of some kind. The present village was 
originally called Cloghanlea (grey chcfhan or step- 
ping-stones) : the real Dunglow lies a little distance 
off ; but a good many years ago, a fair which was 
held there was transferred to Cloghanlea, as a more 
convenient place ; and the name followed the fair. 
The latter syllable of the name — Irish gJeo — signifies 
a noisy contention or tumult ; and Dunglow means 
the fort of contention or strife. 

There are two townlands in Leitrim called Conray, 
and one named Conrea in Mayo : in these places the 
disputes must have terminated in a pacific manner ; 
for the name represents the Irish word cunuradh, a 
covenant or treaty. We have a name of this kind 
in the count}^ Wicklow, which is very satisfactorily 
explained in some of our old books, for it originated 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 433 

in a liistorical event. The following account is taken 
from an ancient liistorical tale called "The Battle of 

In A. D. 598, was fought the terrible battle of 
Dunbolg near Hollywood in Wicklow (see p. 192, 
supra), between Bran Dubh, king of Leinster, and 
Hugh Mao Ainmire, monarch of Ireland, in which 
the latter was slain and his army routed. Some 
time before the battle, Bran Dubh went up on the 
high grounds with a strong detachment, to recon- 
noitre the royal army ; and on Slieve Nechtan, a 
mountain overlooking the plain of Kildare, he fell in 
with a considerable band of Uiidians, who had come 
from their own province to the assistance of Hugh. 
Bran Dubh immediately took them prisoners, and 
ultimately persuaded them to join his own army, 
and fight against the king of Ireland. Whereupon 
both parties entered into a solemn treaty of friend- 
ship ; in commemoration of which they erected a 
cam on the mountain, and changed its name from 
Slieve Nechtan to Slieve Cadaigh, the mountain of 
the covenant. It is a large and conspicuous moun- 
tain rising over the left of the road as you go from 
Hollywood to Donard, about midway between them ; 
and it is still well known -by the name, in the 
slightly altered form of Slive Gadoe ; but it is some- 
times called Church Mountain, from a little church 
ruin, with a holy well near it, standing on its summit. 
There is a place called Drumalagagh in the 
county Eoscommon, four miles east of Ballinasloe. 
The word ealagach signifies noble — readers of early 
Irish history will remember that Inis-ealga, noble 
island, was one of the ancient bardic names of Ire- 
land ; but in the neighbourhood of the place in ques- 
tion, the people understand the term in the sense of 


434 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

"just " — the ridge of justice or equity. Accordingly 
the chief residence in the townland is now univer- 
sally called Mount Equity. Perhaps we may be 
permitted to conjecture that in old times some cele- 
brated brehon (or judge) lived there ; and if this 
were the case, the present name Vv'ould be singularly 

In and near the town of Urlingford in Kilkenny, 
the people have a very vivid tradition of a great 
battle fought round the spot where the little river 
now crosses the road under a bridge at the town. 
The account states that a king of Ossory led a plun- 
dering expedition into Tipperary ; and that when 
returning with immense herds of cattle and spoils of 
every kind, he was pursued by the vengeful Munster 
army under a leader named Finn, and overtaken at 
the ford, where there was then no bridge. Here a 
dreadful battle was fought ; the Ossorians were 
ultimately driven back, and the Munstermen re- 
covered the spoils ; and the slaughter was so great 
that the stream was impeded in its course by the 
heaps of slain. 

There can be little doubt that this tradition is 
founded on fact ; for it is corroborated by the name 
of the town, which is called in Irish, Ath-na-nurlaigh 
[Ah-na-noorly], the ford of the slaughters ; and 
the j)resent name is a half translation of this : — 
Urlingford, i. e. slaughter-ford. 

The word martra, which literally signifies martyr- 
dom, is borrowed from Grreek through Latin ; but it 
has been long naturalised in Irisli. It was some- 
times applied to any place where there was a 
massacre or slaughter : and of this there is a very 
good example in an ancient poem quoted by O'Curry 
in his Lectures (IL 344 : the poem relates that 

cUap. xxa^t.] Various Circumstances. 435 

Ninde, priuce of Tirconnell, now Donegal, made a 
predatoiy incursion into Oonnaught, but tliat he was 
overtaken and defeated with great slaughter, at the 
old cataract of Eas-dara or Ballysadare) : — 

" Ten hundred heads of the Conallians 
AVas then- loss ere they reached Eas-dara ; 
The defeat of the flood we gave 
To Ninde and his shouting hosts ; 
We changed the name of the cokl cataract ; 
From thenceforth it is called iMartra." 

But the word sometimes means "relics" (of mar- 
tyrs ?) ; and this may be its meaning in some local 

There are a good many places scattered here and 
there through the country, whose names contain 
this word ; and at several of them the people still 
retain dim traditions of massacres in olden times. 
One of the best known is Castlemartyr in Cork, 
whose proper name is Balljaiamartra — for so it is 
written in the Annals of the Four Masters, and in 
the Depositions of 1652 — signifying the town of the 
martyrdom or slaughter. A townland in the parish 
of Witter in Down has much the same name, — 
Ballymarter — which has a similar meaning and 
origin. Two miles west of Macroom in Cork is 
Kilnamartry, now the name of a parish, the church 
of the massacre, or of the relics. The simple word 
has given names to Martara in Kerry, to Martray in 
Tyrone, and to Martry in Clare, Meath, and Kos- 
common ; and we may I suppose apply to some or all 
of these the explanation given of the name Martra 
in the above quotation, that each place was at some 
former time the scene of a massacre of some kind. 

I am greatly puzzled to account for names — of 

2 f2 

436 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

wliicli tliere are several— containing the word anam, 
the soul (gen. anma : the Latin anima, borrowed) ; 
such, for instance, as Killanauima in the parish of 
Killanummery in Leitrim, whose original form there 
can be no question about, for the Eour Masters write 
it Coill-an-anma, the wood of the soul ; and Kiliy- 
nanuni in the parish of Denn in Oavan, which has 
the same meaning. Some believe that places with 
such names were bequeathed to some church or 
monastery for the soul's health of the donor or of 
some relative ; while others again assert that the 
names originated in ghosts. But this is all conjecture ; 
and I will give a few examples of such names, without 
being able to throw any further light on the matter. 

There is a place called Knocktiuanima in the 
parish of Killukin, in the north of Roscommon : — 
Cnoc-an-anma, the hill of the soul. Drummonum 
[dntiin, a hill-ridge) is a townland near the town of 
Cavan ; Annaghananam {eanach, a marsh) in the 
parish of Desertcreat in Tyrone ; Ballinanima near 
Kilfinane in Limerick, and Ballynanama in other 
places: — Baile-an-anma, the town of the soul. 

When we meet with local names formed from the 
words for certain seasons, festivals, or days of the 
week, we may, I think, fairly conclude that the pea- 
santry were formerly in the habit of meeting at these 
places at the times indicated, for the celebration of 
games or festivals. I have already enumerated 
many names of this kind (1st Ser. Part II. c. vi.), 
and I will here instance a few more, quite as 

In many parts of Ireland the young people used 
to meet on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday, and 
amuse themselves with various sports and pastimes ; 
but the custom has nearly died out. We find these 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circmnstances. 437 

meetings sometimes commemorated by the word cdisc 
[causk], signifying Easter, which is merely the Latin 
loan-word j^fiT-sc/^r/, with the usual change oij) to c, as in 
ciircur from purpura. Near Abbeydorney in Kerry 
is a place called Knocknacaska, the hill of Easter. 
There is a little island in the river Sliiven in Gral- 
way, two miles above its junction with the Suck, 
called Island Causk, which has left its name on the 
adjacent bridge. Laghtcausk, Easter lar/hf or sepul- 
chral mound, lies near Elphin in Roscommon ; 
Boolanacausk in the parish of Killeely in Clare, and 
Mullanacask in the parish of Errigle Trough in 
Monaghan, the dairy place (hooki/) and the hill 
summit (viul/ach) of Easter. There is a townland 
near the village of Street in Westmeath called Cor- 
nacausk, and another in Galway, near Athleague, 
called Cornacask ; both signify the round hill of 
Easter ; and the latter has the alias name — not quite 
correct though — of Easterfield. 

I suppose the youths and maidens used to retire 
on Saturdays to the shore of the lonely lake of 
Coomasaharn — or as it is usually and correctly called 
by the peasantry, Coomataharn — eight miles east of 
Cahersiveen in Kerr}^, and refresh themselves with 
a merry-making after the week's toil: — Ciim-a- 
tsaf/iairn, the valley of Saturday. So also with Agha- 
taharn in the parish of Aghamore in the east of Mayo, 
Achadh-a -tsaihairn, Saturday jfield, the eclipsing t of 
this name being preserved on the Ordnance Maps, as 
it ought to be. 

"We find spring and summer often commemo- 
rated in this manner ; but here we may probably 
conclude that the places were so called from their 
warm and sunny aspect, or because the leaves be- 
came green or the flowers began to bloom sooner 

438 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

tlian elsewhere in the neighbourhood. There is a 
place in the parish of Ardoarn near Lough Key 
in Eoscommon, called Derreenanarry — Doirm-an- 
earraigJi, the little oak-grove of spring : earraeh, 
spring ; Lat. rev ; Gr. ear. Our word for summer 
is mmliradh [so wra], corresponding with the German 
■ sommer, A. Saxon sumer, Eng. summer . Near Old- 
castle in Meath, there is a place called Drumsawry, 
with the alias name of summer bank, which is suffi- 
ciently correct {druim, a hill-ridge) ; and this was 
the old name of the village of Summerhill in the 
same county, as appears from the Down Survey 
map, and other old documents. 

In the north of Ireland the aspirated m is usually 
restored to its primitive sound, as we find in Lurgan- 
tamry in the parish of Donaghcloney in Down, 
{lurgan, a long low hill) ; in which also the s is 
eclipsed by t, as commonly happens in other names. 
This change, and the south Munster final g sound, 
are both exemplified in Maughantoorig in the parish 
of Kilcummin, north east of Killarney, which very 
well represents the sound of the Irish Macha-an- 
tsamhraig, the farm-yard of summer ; and there is 
a small lake with this same name, one mile south of 
the village of Killorglin in the same county. It is 
highly probable that the people used to feed their 
cattle, and live themselves, in these places during the 
summer half year, which was formerly a common 
practice in many parts of Ireland (see "booley" in 
1st Ser.) ; and that this circumstance gave rise to the 

There are several terms, besides those already 
enumerated in the former volume, which denote 
popular meetings and assemblies of various kinds ; 
and nearly all go to form local names, indicating 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 439 

the places where the meetings used to be held. One 
of these is drong, which is still in common use for a 
crowd, party, or troop ; and it was sometimes used 
to denote a sept or tribe or any particular people — 
for instance it is often found in this sense in the 
topographical poem of O'Dugan. It is obviously cog- 
nate with the A. Saxon and English word throng. There 
is a conspicuous hill called Drung, rising over Ken- 
mare Bay, on the left of the road from Kenmare to 
Eyeries ; and this is the very form of the name 
found in the Book of Eights. This is also the name 
of two townlands and of a little river in Donegal, 
as well as of a townland in Cavan, which gives its 
name to a parish. The oblique form, Dring, is the 
name of some places in the counties of Cavan, Fer- 
managh, and Longford. Perhaps these places were 
so called, not from meetings, but from being inha- 
bited by some remarkable or unusually powerful 
sept, tribe, or people. 

The diminutive Drungan is the name of a town- 
land in the parish of Rossinver in Leitrim ; and 
another diminutive, Dringeen, occurs near Cong in 
Mayo. We have the word in combination in Agh- 
nadrung near Yirginia in Cavan, Achadh-na-ndrong, 
the field of the tribes, meetings, or throngs ; and in 
Cornadrung on the western shore of Lough Gowna 
in Cavan, the round hill of the septs or assemblies. 

The Irish borrowed the word si/jiodus from the 
Latin in the early ages of Christianity ; and the 
form it assumed in the Irish language was senad or 
senud. One of the raths at Tara was called Ratli- 
seanaidh, synod fort, from the fact that three eccle- 
siastical meetings were held on it at different times, 
by the three great saints, Patrick, Brendan, and 
Adamnan. There is an island in Upper Lough 

440 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

Erne wliose ancient name was senad, i. e. synod 
(island), but why it got this name there seems no 
means of finding out. It was for a long time in 
possession of the family of MacManus, and hence it 
is usually called in the annals, Senad MacManus ; 
but this old name has been long obsolete, and the 
island is now called, on account of its beauty, Belle- 
Isle. _ 

This island is a classical spot, for it was here the 
Annals of Ulster were compiled by Cathal Mac 
Manus, who, besides being a very learned man and 
a great historian, kept a house of hospitality on the 
island, where he died of small pox, according to the 
Four Masters, in A.D. 1498. It was O'Donovan 
who first identified Belle-Isle with Sea ad MacManus 
— a mere unit of his innumerable discoveries in Irish 
historical topography ; and I wish very much that 
Mr. Porter, the present proprietor, would restore the 
old name. 

The only place in Ireland that I am aware of, 
now bearing a name derived from this word, is Shanid 
near Shanagolden in Limerick, remarkable for its 
fine castle ruins, perched on the summit of a hill. 
This castle was one of the seats of the earls of Des- 
mond — the powerful Fitzgeralds — and it was from 
this that one branch of the family adopted the war 
cry of Shanid-Aboo, which is still the motto of the 
Knight of Glin ; while the Leinster branch, repre- 
sented by the Duke of Leinster, retains the motto, 
Crom-aboo, from the castle of Groom in the same 

The commonages, so generally met with near 
villages, not only in Ireland, but also in England 
and Scotland, are designated in this country by 
several terms, the most usual being coitclnonn [cut- 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 441 

teen] : coitchen, commune : Z. 179. The simple 
■word gives name to several places in the south, now 
called Outteen ; to Cottian in Donegal ; and to 
Cautheen in Tipperary. The plural is seen in Cut- 
teanta in Sligo (commons) ; the adjective form in 
Cotteenagh, the name of a little island in the Shannon 
near Clonmacnoise ; and we have the word in com- 
bination in Ardcotten near Ballysadare in Sligo, 
the height of the commonage. 

I have already noticed the name of Benburb (proud 
peak — see 1st Ser.), and that of the Uallach or "Proud 
River" at Gleugarriff. It is curious that the Irish 
terms for "proud'' or "pride" often enter into 
local names ; but wliether the places got such names 
from their commanding position, like Benburb, or 
from some great and strong fortress, or from 
belonging to a powerful family, or from some other 
circumstance, it is now I fear beyond our power to 

The word most generally employed is uabhar 
[oover, oor], which means pride ; and it is usually 
anglicised over, oicer, or ore ; but it requires care to 
distinguish tlie meaning of the last syllable, for it 
may also mean gold (see p. 311). About the original 
form and meaning of Donore in Meath, we can have 
no doubt, for the Four Masters write it Dun-uabhair 
the fort of pride. Even without the help of the 
annalists we could tell that ore here means " pride," 
and not "gold;" for the peasantry of the neigh- 
bourhood still call the place Donover. Other places 
in various parts of the country are called Donore, 
Donoure, Doonoor, Doonour, Doonore, and Dunover, 
all having the same meaning. There is a place in 
the parish of Killerry in Sligo, called Castleore, 
whose correct name, Caislen-an-uahhair, the castle 

442 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

of pride, is also preserved by the Four Masters. 
We have a name corresponding to this in Galway — 
Cloghanower (cloch, a stone or stone castle). Lissano- 
ver is the name of a place in the parish of Killeany in 
Gralway, and of another near the village of Bawnboy 
in Cavau, a name which corresponds with Donore. 
Regarding Lissanover in Cavan, the people have a 
tradition that the castle was in former days held by 
a chieftain named Magauran, who was a merciless 
tyrant ; and they tell that on one occasion he slew a 
priest on the altar for beginning Mass before he had 
arrived. This is believed to have given origin to 
the name — Lios-an-uabhair, the fort of pride. 

The word iiaUach is exhibited in Cuilleenoolagh, 
the proud little wood, which is applied to a hill, 
formerly wooded, and to a townland, in the parish 
of Dysart in Roscommon. Diomas [deemas] is 
another Irish word for pride. There was a celebrated 
chieftain of the O'Neills in the time of Elizabeth, 
who, on account of the lofty haughtiness of his 
character, was called S/iane-an-diomais, John the 
proud. From this word is formed the name of 
O'Diomasaigh or Dempsy, a family deriving their 
iiame from a progenitor who was called Dioinasach, 
i. e. proud. The word apj)ears in the name of 
Derdimus, a townland about three miles south west 
of Kilkenny, Doii-e-dioinais, the oak-grove of pride. 

There is a townland near Derrynane Abbey in 
Kerry, called Goad, which has given its name to a 
mountain and a lake ; and another townland of the 
same name is situated near Corrofin in the county 
Clare. There is some uncertainty about the original 
form of this name ; but I believe that it is comlifhod 
[ooad], a bed or grave. In a passage of the Diiiii- 
senchus, translated by Mr. O'Beirne Crowe (Kilk, 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances, ' 443 

Arch. Jour., 1872, p. 150), the dwarf's grave afEara 
is called in one place, cuhJiad, and a little farther on, 
comhfod. Mr. Crowe thinks that hoth are forms of 
the Latin cubitus ; but it may be doubted whether 
this applies to the second at least, for it is an intelli- 
gible Irish word as it stands, formed from comh 
(Lat. con,) and/r/c/rc, long: — comhfod, "as long as" 
[the human body], a very natural and expressive 
term for a grave or tomb. Coad in Clare is called 
comhad by the Four Masters (V. p. 1365) ; but here 
they have omitted the aspirated/, as they appear to 
have been doubtful of the etymology. There is an 
old graveyard in the Kerry Coad, with a large stone 
standing on it, round which the people often pray ; 
and the grave marked by this old monument is 
probably the original comhfhod from which the town- 
land takes its name. 

Many of the qualities by which Irish rivers have 
been designated, have been noticed incidentally in 
various parts of this and the preceding volume ; and 
I will here add a few more. Rivers often receive 
names from the manner in which they flow, whether 
quickly or slowly, straight or curved, t^c. There is 
a considerable stream in "Wexford, joining the Bann, 
three miles west of G-orey, called the Lask, which is 
a very expressive name, for it is the Irish word lease, 

The word dian, strong or vehement, has given 
name to several rivers. The river Dinin in Kil- 
kenny, which joins the Nore above the city, is sub- 
ject to sweeping and destructive floods ; so that it 
is most accurately described by its name Beinin, a 
diminutive form signifying vehement or strong river. 
The little river Dinin joins the Nore at Borris in 
Carlo w ; and the Deenagh— the nanie of which is an 

444 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

adjective form with the same meaning — runs into 
the lower lake of Killarney near the town. 

The Lingaun river in Kilkenny flows eastward 
from the slope of Slievenaman ; it runs at all times 
very rapidly, a character which is exactly expressed 
by the name : — ling to spring or leap forward ; Lin- 
gaun, the leaping or bounding river. 

The most common term for the quality of rough- 
ness or coarseness is r/arb/i, of which the usual angli- 
cised forms are (Jdrriff and garre. The word is often 
applied to the surface of the ground, as in Parkgarriff 
and Parkgarve, rough field, which are the names of 
several places in Cork, Waterford, and Gralway. It is 
also a frequent component in tlie names of rivers, of 
which Grlashgarriff, Glashagarriff, and Owengarve — 
rough stream or river — which are the names of many 
streams in the south and west, may be taken as 
examples. It is applied to a person — to express 
probably roughness or rudeness of manner or char- 
acter — in Toberagarriff, in the parish of Abington in 
Limerick, Tohar-ci'-ghairhh, the well of the rough 

Other and less usual anglicised forms are seen in 
Garracloon in Clare, Galway and Mayo, Garryclone 
and Garry cloyne in Cork and Waterford, all from 
Oarl)h-chInain, rough meadow, which is the same as 
Cloongarve in Clare, only with the root words re- 
versed. There are several places in Leinster, Munster, 
and Connaught, called Garbally, %vhich is generally 
interpreted short-town (gearr, p. 394) but which some- 
times means rough town. In one case, however, it 
has a different interpretation, viz. in Garbally in the 
parish of Moylough in Galway, where there was in 
old times a castle of the O'Kellys; in mentioning 
this castle the Four Masters give the true name, 

CHAP, XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 445 

Gai'bh-dhoirc, rough oak-wood, wliich should have 
been anglicised Grarderry. 

The diminutive Garvoge is often used to designate 
coarse cloth ; and it is also the name of a townland 
in Kildare, meaning in this case a rugged spot of 

Carrach is rugged, rough ; swarthy or scabby as 
applied to a person. In local names it is almost 
always anglicised carragh or corragh, of which 
Slievecorragh and Slievecarragh, rugged moun- 
tain, the names of several hills, may be taken as 

Aimhrciclh [avrea] has several shades of meaning, 
all derivable from what is indicated by the composi- 
tion of the word : — aimh a negative prefix, and reidli 
open or smooth — i. e. not clear or open — uneven, 
rugged, difficult, intricate, &c, O'Dugan applies the 
word to the territory of Kinel-connell, now the county 
of Donegal : — " Ainikreidh fonn an fini sin" — rugged 
is the land of that tribe. — p. 40. Perhaps the best 
known example of its topographical application is 
Lackavrea, the name of a remarkable mountain rising 
over Lough Corrib at its western arm, near the Hen's 
Castle : — Lcac-aimhreidh, the rough or complicated 
flag-stone ; for it is formed of cpiartzose rock which 
presents a peculiarly rough surface.* This mountain 
is also called Corcoge (which means a beehive) from 
its shape. 

The word stands by itself in the name of a town- 
land in the barony of Farney in Monaghan, two 
miles from the village of Shercock in Cavan ; this 
place is now called Ouvry, but in 1655 it was called 

*See G. H. Kinahan, Esq., in Sir W. R.Wilde's Lough 
Corrib — pi 20, note. 

446 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

Eaverie, wliicli fairly represents the pronunciation 
of the original.* There is a small island off the 
coast of Connemar'a, between Mac Dara's Island and 
Mason Island, called Avery, another form of Aivih- 
reidh ; for it consists wholly of rug-ged rocks which 
are washed by the waves in storms. A river flows 
into Blacksod Bay in Mayo, which is called Owen- 
avrea, rough river. And in Tarrea in the parish of 
Killeeuavarra in Gal way, near the village of Kin- 
varra, we have an example of a ^ prefixed under 
the influence of the article : — an tainihreidh the 
rough land, like Tardree for Ardree (see this in 
1st Series). 

The word cruadh [croo] hard, is sometimes found 
forming a part of local names, and it is used in all 
such cases to designate hard surfaced land, a soil 
difficult to till on account of tough clay, surface rocks, 
&c. A good example is Cargacroy in the parish of 
Drumbo in Down, Cairrge-cruadha, hard rocks. 
Mullaghcroy near Castletowndelvin in "Westmeath, 
signifies hard summit ; Crooderry near Boyle in 
Roscommon, hard derry or oak-wood, or the hard 
place of the oak-wood. 

No one would ever suspect the origin of the 
name of the village of Athea in Limerick from 
its present form ; and the inquirer would not be 
much enlightened even by the popular pronunciation 
in Irish — Auihay. But there is a little old ruined 
church near the village, whose Irish name removes 
the difficulty; for the people call it Thoumpiil AniJi' 
lay (the church of Athlea or Athea) . Here there is an 
/ after the tJi, which, curiously enough, is not inserted 
in the name of the village itself; and this / makes the 

* Sec this name in SIiii'ley*s "Barony of Farney.'' 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 447 

whole thing quite plain ; for according to the southern 
pronunciation, AivthUnj is the phonetic representative 
of Ath-(C -UJeihlie, the ford of the mountain, as Bal- 
lintlea is reduced from Baik-an-tsleihhe (see this in 
1st Ser.). The ford stood where the bridge now spans 
the river Graley ; and the mountain from which it 
was designated is Knockathea, or the hill of Athea, 
rising over the village. 

Between the town of Eoscommon and Lough Eee, 
there is a stream called the Banew. The people 
have a tradition that the monks of the abbey of 
Inchcleraun in Lough Ree were in former days in 
the habit of meeting those of Eoscommon at this 
stream ; and from the salutations exchanged between 
them at meeting and parting, the river got its name : 
— heannughadh [bannooa] i. e. blessing or saluta- 

Beannacht — old form hendacht — a blessing, is 
merely the Latin henedictio, borrowed in the early 
ages of Christianity, and softened down by contraction 
and aspiration ; from which again is derived the verb 
heannaigh, to bless, and the verbal noun heannughadh, 
just mentioned. This last is not unfrequently 
found in place-names ; and it is probable that in the 
greater number of such cases there are local traditions 
connected with the names, something like that of the 
river Banew. 

In the wild district south east of Cahirsiveen, 
there is a lonely valley shut in by hills and preci- 
pices, called Coomavanniha, a name which exactly 
conveys the sound of theLish Cihn-a^-bheannuighthe, 
the valley of the blessing. Glanbannoo, with the 
same meaning, is the name of a secluded valley and 
townland near Castledonovan, west of Dunmanway 
in Cork. A little pool at the western base of Sugar- 

448 Various Circiimsfances. [chap. xxvi. 

loaf mountain near Grlengarriff in the same count}^ is 
called Toberavanaha, the well of the blessing ; but 
here we may look for the origin of tlie name in one 
of the innumerable legends connected with holy 
wells. There is an ancient and very remarkable 
stone in the parish of Moore in Roscommon, called 
Clogherbanny, the blessed or consecrated stone. A 
name exactly the same as this — except that clock, 
the common word for a stone, is used instead of 
clochar — is Clobanna, three miles north of Thurles in 

But it must be confessed that we have a far 
greater number of names from cursings than from 
blessings. The word that is commonly used in 
forming names of this kind is mallacJit, signifying a 
curse; its old form is malclacht, which was derived 
from the Latin malcdictio, like hendacJd from bene- 
dictio. It is hard to know what gave origin to such 
names. Possibly they may have been the scenes of 
massacres, or of strife, or of bitter feuds carried on 
between the neighbouring hostile clans or families. 
Connected with some of them there are popular tra- 
ditions, which, if they are worth very little — as many 
of them undoubtedly are — indicate at least what tlie 
people would consider a natural and sufficient ex- 
planation of names of this kind. Such is the Kerry 
legend about the little mountain stream, Owenna- 
mallaght, which flows into Tralee Bay near Oastle- 
gregory, which, it is to be feared indeed, was invented 
in late times to account for the name. The people 
will tell you that on a certain occasion, when St. 
Patrick was passing through this part of Kerrj^ he 
ran short of provisions, and requested the fishermen 
to give him some of the fish they had just caught in 
the river. But they refused him in a very churlish 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 449 

and offensive manner ; whereupon lie pronounced a 
curse on the river, and predicted that no fish 
should be found in it for evermore. And accord- 
ingly there is no fish in it — so at least the people 

I could enumerate more than a dozen names con- 
taining this word maUacht ; but as it is hardly 
ever corrupted — except that occasionally it loses the 
final t — a few illustrations will be sufficient. There 
is a small village in Gralway, situated on the Owen- 
dalulagh river, where it flows from the slopes of 
Slieve Aughty ; it takes its name, Bellanamallaght, 
from an ancient ford, the Irish name of which was 
Bcl-atha-na-mallacJit, the ford-mouth of the curses. 
Ballynamallaght in the north of Tyrone is evidently 
a corruption of the same Irish name, and was so 
called from the old ford on the Burn Dennet, which is 
now spanned by the village bridge. Another name 
like these is Aghnamallagh near the town of Mon- 
aghan, the original form of which was Ath-na- 
viallaghf, the ford of the curses. But in Aghnamal- 
laght, three miles north of Roscommon, the first 
syllable (agh) signifies a field. 

There is a townland, giving name to a lake, five 
miles north west of Ballyhauuis in Mayo, called 
Carrownamallaght, the quarter-land of the maledic- 
tions, which, as well indeed as the last name, may 
have been a bone of contention between two neigh- 
bouring rivals. Barnanamallaght {bearna, a gap 
between hills) is a place in the north of Clare, about 
four miles south east of Ballyvaghan ; we have Drum- 
mallaght {drum, a hill-ridge) near Ballyjamesduff 
in Cavan ; and Cloghnamallaght in the parish of 
Monamolin in Wexford, corresponds with Glob anna, 
mentioned at page 448. 


450 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

It appears difficult to account for the application 
of the word seem [shau], old, to certain natural fea- 
tures ; for so far as history or tradition is con- 
cerned, one mountain, or river, or valley, cannot be 
older than another. Yet we have Shanow, Shannow, 
and Shanowen (old river), all common river names, 
especially in the south ; there are many places called 
Shandrum (old ridge) and Shanaknock (old hill), 
the former sometimes made Shandrim, and the latter 
Shancrock: Shantulla andShantullig, oldtuIeichoThill. 

It is probable that seem in such names refers to 
use : — a river was called Shanowen, because the 
people had been from time immemorial living, fish- 
ing, or boating on it ; a hill got the name of Shan- 
drum because it was inhabited, cultivated, or grazed, 
long before any other in the neighbourhood. They 
use the word very much in this sense in the west and 
south : thus Shannafreaghoge in the parish of Ra- 
hoon in Gralway, the old or famous place ior/reagh- 
ofjes, hurts, or whortleberries ; Shanavagoon a little 
south of Castlemartyr in Cork, an odd name, signify- 
ing literally " old bacon ;" but the real meaning is 
probably the old place for pigs or bacon. 

The following names and many others like them, 
originated in a similar way : — Shangort, old field, 
in Galway and Mayo ; Shanmoy in Tyrone, old 
plain ; Shanaghy in several counties, old field ; all 
names implying that the places had been longer 
under cultivation than the surrounding land. 

It is easy enough to account for such names as 
Shanafona in the parish of Duagh in Kerry, old 
pound ;* Shanawillen in Kerry, old mill {muitciin) ; 

* In connexion with this name, I may remark that the word 
puna, a pound, is found in other names, as for instance, Ahafona 
n sar Baliybunnion in Kerry, Atli-a-pliona.^ the ford of the pound. 

CttAP. xxvi.^ Various Circuinshtnccs. 45l 

Shanavolier in Cork, and Shanvolier in Galwa}^, old 
lotltar or road;* Slianeglish in Armagh, old church. 
{caglais) ; and Shantraud — Scan-tsrdid, old street or 
village. For the names merely express the fact that 
at the time these several structures were so called, 
they were old as compared with others in the neigh- 
bourhood more recently erected ; or that they were 
simply old, without implying any comparison. 

This word scan, whose old form is so), is cognate 
with Latin soicx and Sanscrit sana. It is a frequent 
component of local names ; but I do not think it 
necessary to give any more illustrations of its use, 
as it is nearly always anglicised s/tan, except where 
the s is eclipsed by f, when it becomes fan. Bawna- 
tanavoher in Waterford and Tipperary, the hmm or 
green field of the old road — Bcin-a -tsean-hJiothair ; 
Carrowntanlis near Tuam, the quarter-land of the 
old lis or fort ; Grortatanavally near Inchigeelagh in 
Cork, and Gfarrj' antanvally near Listowel in Kerry, 
the field and the garden, of the old hallij or town. 

I suppose the word scdth [skaw], a shadow, which 
is occasionally found in names, was locally used in 
its natural and obvious sense, to designate spots 
shadowed by overhanging cliffs, or by a thick growth 
of tall leafy trees. There is a small river four miles 
southeast of Newcastle in Limerick, called Owenskaw, 
the river of the shadow ; Skaw itself, i. e. shadow, is 
the name of a townland near Ballymore in West- 
meath ; and there is a place near Templemore in 
Tipperary called Barnalascaw, the gap of the half 
shadow [la for leath, half), so called probably because 
the gap runs in such a direction that when the sun 

* Remark in several of these names, the insertion of a 
euphonic vowel sound :— see page 3, supra, 


452 Various Circumstances. [chap. XXvI. 

shines, one side is thrown into shadow. In the 
parish of Molahiffe in Kerry, near the Farranfore 
station of the railway to Killarney, there is a phace 
called Skahies, which is the anglicised form of the 
plural Scdtha, shades or shadows. 

Land which was held free of rent or duty of any 
kind was sometimes designated by the word saer, 
free. There are two townlands, one near Killashandra 
in Oavan, the other in the parish of Macosquin near 
Coleraine, called Farranseer, free land [fearann) ; 
and another south of Ballyshannon, called Clonty- 
seer, shortened from Cluainte-saera, free cloons or 
meadows. Saeirse [seersha], among other meanings, 
signifies a freehold, whence we have Seersha near 
Newmarket on Fergus in Clare, and Seersha north 
west of Killarney ; which again is shortened to 
Serse in Armagh, not far from Newry ; and modified 
to Seershin, three miles from the village of Barna, 
a little west of Galway. 

On the west side of the Shannon, in that part of 
the county Roscommon extending between Drumsna 
and Lanesboro, there were anciently three districts, 
called respectively C'tiiel Dohhtha, Tlv Brinin na 
Sinna, and Corca Eachlann ; these, both in the 
annals, and among the people, were often called 
simply ^^ Na TuatJia''' [ua-tooha] i.e. the Tuathas 
or territories, and though their individual names 
have perished, this last still survives. On the road 
from llooskey to Drumsna, where it crosses an arm 
of the Shannon between two lakes, there was an 
ancient weir, very much celebrated, called Caradh- 
iia-dtuath [Cara-na-doo], the caradh or weir of the 
(three) tuaths or districts, A bridge now spans 
the stream on the site of the weir, and it is well 
known by the name of Caranadoe Bridge. 

CHAP. XXVI.] Varioits (Jircmmtcmccs. 453 

In the county of Longford tliey tell a story of the 
origin of Lough Gowna, ^Yhich forms the head of the 
cliain of lakes traversed by the river Erne; this 
legend also accounts for the eruption of Lough 
Oughter and Lough Erne. There is a well in the 
townland of Rathbrackan, one mile from Granard, 
out of which a stream runs into Lough Gowna ; 
from this well a magical calf sallied forth, once on a 
time, and the water of the well rushed after him as 
far as the sea at Ballyshannon, expanding in its 
course, first into Lough Gowna, and afterwards into 
the two Loughs Erne, in memory of which the well 
is still called Tobor Gowna, and the lake. Lough 
Gowna, the well and the lake of the calf. 

Among the many circumstances taken advantage 
of by the observant Irish peasantry, to designate 
places, one of the most striking and poetical is soli- 
tude or loneliness. There is a district east of Kells 
in Meath, which, even in the earliest period of our 
history, was noted for its solitariness ; so that persons 
going to reside there were considered to have retired 
altogether from the view of the world. When the 
celebrated Lewy of the Long Arms, who according 
to ancient tradition, was skilled in all the arts and 
sciences, came to reside at the court of Tara, the 
artists and learned men who had been up to that 
time in the king's service, felt themselves so over- 
shadowed by the brilliant talents of the new profes- 
sor, that they retired in shame from Tara, and betook 
themselves to this very spot — the JDiamhrcnhh or 
solitudes of Bregia, as it is called in the old nar- 
rative (one of the legends in the Dinnseanchus), 
where they remained in obscurity ever after. The 
word dlamhar, of which diamhraihh is a plural form, 
is still used in the spoken language in the sense of 

454 Various Cirmmstances. [chap. xxvi. 

mysterious, hidden, or obscure ; and the district in 
question still retains the old name, in the slightly- 
modified form of Diamor. In O'Olery's Calendar, 
a place is mentioned called Chiam-diamhair, solitary 

The allusion to the professors who retired from 
Tara, occurs in the legendary history of the name of 
Turvey, a place situated on an inlet of the sea in 
the north of the county Dublin, two miles from 
Lusk. The old writer states that Tuirbhi [Turvey], 
the father of the great artist, Grobban Saer, who 
lived in the seventh century, had his residence on 
this strand ; and that every evening after ceasing 
from his work, he used to throw his hatchet (as Len 
of the white teeth used to throw his anvil : p. 197, 
supra) from an eminence, which was afterwards 
called TuIach-an-hJiiail or the hill of the hatchet, to the 
farthest point reached by the tide. Hence the place 
was called Traigli-TuirbJd, Turvey 's strand, which 
is now shortened to Turvey. The narrative adds 
that it was not known to what people he belonged, 
unless he was one of the dark-complexioned race 
who fled from Tara to tlie solitudes of Bregia (see 
Petrie, R. Towers, p. 386). 

We have still another word, — uaigneas [oognasj, 
to express the same idea. In the parish of Tuosist 
in Kerry, on the left of the road from Kenniare to 
Eyeries, there is a hill called Knockanouganish, the 
hill of solitude ; and we have the adjective form 
exhibited in Glenoognagh in the parish of LismuUen 
in Meath, lonely glen. 

I believe I may safely assert that there is not a 
place-name in 'any part of the world, that could not 
be matched in Ireland. For our names are scattered 
broadcast in such infinite profusion and variety, that 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Circumstances. 455 

they seem to have almost exhausted human inven- 
tion. It would be easy to bring together a collection 
of odd and eccentric local designations, unusual in 
formation or strange in origin, from every part of 
the world, and then to produce from the abundance 
of our local nomenclature, names corresponding to 
them all. And after this, I think I could find many 
names in my own country that it would be hard to 
match anywhere else. Scotland would be a dangerous 
competitor, but even here I should feel very confi- 
dent as to the result of the comparison ; and I should 
have no fear at all about the rest of the world. 

"Will any great topographer or learned etymo- 
logist find me such a river name as "The Morning 
Star " anywhere outside Ireland ? "We have a river 
of this name, a fine stream rising in the Galty 
mountains, flowing through the town of Bruif in 
Limerick, and joining the Maigue below Bruree. 
The old name of this river, as we find it in various 
ancient authorities, was Samhair or Samer ; and this 
is also well known as the ancient name of the river 
Erne, from which again the little island of Inis- 
Samer (now called Fish Island) near the Salmon- 
leap at Ballyshannon — an island connected with 
some of our oldest legends — took its name. 

It is to be observed that Samer was in former times 
used also as a woman's name ; but what the radical 
meaning of the word may be, I cannot venture to 
conjecture. As a river name, Pictet (Origines Indo- 
Europiennes) connects it with the old names of 
several rivers on the continent of Europe, and with 
the Persian shamar, a river : — for example the 
Samur, flowing from the Caucasus into the Caspian ; 
the Samara, flowing into the Sea of Azov ; and the 
ancient Celtic name, Samara, of a river in Belgium 

456 Various Circumstances. [chap. xxvi. 

It must be confessed tliat our "Morning Star" 
came by its fine name through a mistake, or in plain 
words by a false translation ; but it is a mistake 
turned to such happy account that one would never 
wish to correct it : — for in the colloquial Irish of 
the] people, the old name Samhair was corrupted to 
CamJiair ; and as this word signifies the first 
appearance of day light, or the break of day, so they 
translated it into " Morning Star." 

There is a townland called Grlenastar near New- 
castle in Limerick ; but this name has nothing to do 
with the stars. The correct anglicised form, divided 
etymologically, would be Glen-as-daar. Just where 
the river that traverses the glen flows by the town- 
land, it falls over a rock into an unfathomable pool, 
forming a fine cascade ; this is the as (Irish eas, a 
waterfall) ; and as the name of the river is the Daar, 
the glen was called Gleann-casa-Bdire, the glen of 
the cataract of the Daar. 

When "Washington Irving wrote his Legend of 
Sleepy Hollow, he imagined no doubt, that such a 
name was not to be found in any part of the world 
except on the banks of the Hudson — if indeed he 
did not invent it to suit his story, which I strongly 
suspect he did. But if he had only come over to 
Ireland, and travelled through certain parts of the 
county Cork, he would find that we had been before- 
hand with him ; for as he passed near the little 
town of Inishannon, he could see from the railway 
carriage window, close to the line, a gentleman's 
residence and a townland, called Coolcullata, which 
corresponds exactly in meaning with his sleepy 
hollow. The first syllable is the Irish ciiil, a recess 
or corner; while codtata [cullata] is a genitive form 
of codia [culla], sleep ; and these two words put 

CHAP. XXVI.] Various Ciniimstances. 457 

together, and spelled in English letters in accordance 
with the sound, make Coolcullata, the recess of 
sleep, or sleepy hollow. Moreover, the county Cork 
can boast of another drowsy spot ; for there is a hill 
at the western extremity of the Nagles Mountains, 
near the village of Killawillin, called Knockacullata, 
the hill of sleep. 

But why it is that Coolcullata was so called ; 
whether it was from the solitude of the spot ; or 
from its drowsy accompaniments — its murmuring 
waters, its rustling leaves, and its humming bees, 
as Irving describes his somniferous valley ; or from 
the sleepy character of the natives — but indeed I 
do not believe this, for the Corkonians are as wide- 
awake a people as can be found in any part of Ire- 
land ; whether any or all or none of these, gave 
name to the place, I am sorry to say I can give no 
satisfactory accomit. Perhaps Coolcullata was another 
Castle of Indolence, 

" A pleasing land of drowsy head, 
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye," 


" Was nought around but images of rest; 

81eep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between ; 
And flowery beds that slumbrous influence kest, 
From poppies breathed ; and beds of pleasant green." 

But however we may be at fault in our attempts to 
account for the name, there it stands as a fact ; and 
if I am right in believing that Washington Irving 
invented the American name, I can claim one 
superiority for our Coolcullata over his Sleepy 
Hollow, that his name "is a fiction, but mine is 


(^.B.— Many namos that do not o?our in the body of the present work or ia 
the First Series are explained in this index) . 


Abberaciirim, .... 3GG 
Abbernadoorney ; the mire 

of^theDoriiejs (a family) 

Abbeydorney, 130 

Abbeygrey, 2:^7 

Aclai-e, 219 

Acraboy ; yellow acre. 
Acragar ; short acre. 
Acreiiatirka ; the hen's acre. 

Adderville, 417 

Adderwal, 417 

Aghabog, 4f) 

Aghacoora, 71 

Aghadrumkeen, .... 03 
Aghagah, Aghagaw, . . . 175 

Aghakee 158 

Aghalahard ; the field of 

the gentle hill. 
Aghalateeve; the field of 

tlie half-side (Icath-tacbh). 
Aghalongher; the field of 

the rushes. 
Aghalusky ; burnt field. 
Aglialust, Aghalustia, . . 407 

Aghamore, 392 

Aghanapisha; field of the 

pease (pise). 


Aghareagh ; grey field : see 

p. 27fl. 

Aghataharn, 437 

Aghaward, 110 

Aghclare, 218 

Agheeshal, 41G 

Aghintamy, 323 

Aghintober; field of the 

Aghinure ; field of the yew. 

Aghmanister, 228 

Aglniacross; field of the 

Aglniadrung; field of the 

crowds (drung). 

Aghnagar, 173 

xighnauiard, 110 

Aghnasedagh, 242 

Aghnashaminer 55 

Aghnashanuagh ; field of 

the foxes. 
Agliuashingan, .... 285 

Aghnadrung, 439 

Aglniamallagh, Aghnaraal- 

laght 449 

Aghnasorn, 222 

Ahafona, .... 450 note 


Index of Names. 


Ahaunboy ; yellow little ford, 

Ahgloragh, fifi 

Ahnagurra, 102 

Alinaseed bridge, . . . 174- 

Alderford, 24 

Altatraght 245 

Altbaun ; white height. 
Altderg; red height. 
Altnagapple ; height of the 


Anascaul 104 

Annagannihy, .... 117 

Annagar 173 

Annaghananam, .... 436 
Annaghbane; white marsh. 
Annaghboy ; yellow marsh. 
Annaghbract ; speckled 

Annaghearly, .... 58 

Annagher, 421 

Annaghierin, 349 

Annaghnamaddoo ; marsh 

of the dogs. 
Annaghselheniy, ... 17 

Annagloor, 291 

Annaglug, 180 

Annaloist, ...*.. 407 

Annamult, 294 

Ardamadane, 160 

Ardanairy ; shepherd's 


Ardaneer, 424 

Ardarostig ; Roche's height. 

Ardatedaun 241 

Ardattin ; f urzy height. 
Ardbooley; height of the 

hoolcy or dairy place. 

Ardcavan, 25 

ArdcoUum 25 

Ardcolm, Ardcolum, . . 25 

Ardcotten, 441 

Ardcrone, 274 

Ardiintan 30 

Ardgeehan, Ardgehane, . 241 
Ardkirk; height of the 


Ardlahan, 894 

Ard-Leinnachta, .... 203 
Ardmealuane or Ardmnlli- 

van, 126 

Ardnagabog, 161 

Ardnaglug, 181 

Ardnagrena; sunny height. 
ArdnagroBB ; height of the 

Ardnaguniog, 186 

Ardnanure; height of the 

Ardnaponra, 305 

Ardore, Ardonr 278 

Ardrahan, 313 

Ardrass, Ardress, . . . 336 
Ardroe ; red height. 

ArdsaUagh, 367 

Ardscradaun, 36 

Ardtermon 211 

Ardtonnagh, 216 

Ardtrasna ; cross height. 
Ardunshin; height of the 


Arget-ros or Silverwood, . 344 

Arigideen river, .... 69 

Armaghbrngue, .... 413 

Askanagap 333 

Askinvillar, 326 

Assaly 250 

Assylin, 145 

Astee, . . . . . . . 203 

Atateemore; site {ait) of 
the great house {teach). 

Athassel 416 

Athboy, 273 

Athclare, 218 

Athea, 446 

Athnagar, 173 

Attitliomasrevagh, . . . 277 

Attyflin 146 

Attyreesh, 152 

Aubwee ; yellow river. 

Aughalin 385 

Auglmacarney, .... 106 
Auglinaglaur, . . 219,220 

Index of Names. 



Aughnaloopy, . . . . 401 

Avery Island, 446 

Ayish, 320 

Balbradagh, 109 

Balgaddy 109 

Ballaghaderg, 271 

Ballaghanolier, .... 330 
Ballaghdon-agh, Ballagli- 

dorragha; dark pass. 
Ballagligar ; short pass. 
Ballaghgee; windy pass. 

Balleeghan, 63 

B lUeighter, Balleigliteragh ; 

low town. 
BaUickmoyler, . . 140, 141 

Ballinab, 93 

Ballinaboy, 273 

Ballinacarrig ; to\vn of the 

Ballinaminton, . . : . 289 

Ballinanchor, 95 

Ballinaleama; town of the 


Ballinanima, 436 

Ballinanty, 315 

Ballinasilloge ; town of tho 

BalUnasoostia; town of the 

flail: seep. 162. 

BalUnastraw, 376 

BalUndall, 159 

BaUindrehid; town of the 


Ballinduff, 261 

Ballineedora, 116 

Ballingaddy 109 

BaUingoleen, 256 

Ballinillaun ; town of the 

Ballinknockane ; town of 

the little hill. 

Balhnlaur, 418 

BaUinlina, 123 

Ballinliny, .«.««» 122 

Ballinloughane; town of 

the small lake. 

Ballinlyna, 122 

BalHnookery ; town of the 

Ballinrichard, .... 168 
Ballinriddera, BaUinrid- 

dery, 101 

Balliuroad, 213 

Ballinruddery, .... 101 

Ballinscoola, 363 

Ballinteenoe ; town of tho 

new house. 

Ballinternion, 211 

Ballintim ; town of the torn 

or bush. 

Ballintogher, 432 

Ballintra, 376 

Ballintrim; town of the 

Ballinulty; town of the 


Balhnunty, 168 

Ballinvana, 361 

Ballinvard; town of the 


Ballinvonear, 320 

Ballinwing, 370 

Balliror 132 

Balloughter 415 

Ballyaddagh, 417 

Ballyalbanagh, .... 121 
BaUyanrahan ; O'Hanrahan's 


Ballyargus, 152 

Ballybanoge; town of the 

little ban or lea-field. 

Ballybinaby, 273 

BaUybla, BaUyblagh, . . 309 

BaUyboggan, 135 

BaUyboghill, 183 

Bally boher; town of the 

Ballybrada, ..... 109 
Ballybrannagh, ...» 120 


Tiiilcx of N'lnics. 


Ballvbrifciin, Ball ybrit tan, 120 
UaUybrittas, ..'.,. 282 
Bally buiiinabber, . . . 366 
BaUjcapple ; town of tlie 

cajjaUs or horses. 
Ballycarrigeon ; town of tlie 

little rock. 
Ballyclog, BaUydiig, . . 180 
Ballycoc'ksoost, .... 1()2 

Ballycoghill, lOf) 

Ballyjonboy, l.^i 

Ballycong, SS7 

Ballyconlore, 200 

Ballycorus, 140 

Ballycotteen ; town of tlie 

commonage [coitchin). 

Ballycowan, 141 

Ballycla; same as Ballydau. 

Ballydaheen, 31 

BallydaTid, Ballvdayis, 

BiUydarj, . .' . . . 106 

Bally daw, 106 

B illydoucgan, O'Doneg m's 

Ballydonnell, O'DonncU's 


Ballyduffy, 142 

Ballydugan, 143 

Ballyfad; long town. 

Billyfarnan, 24 

Ballyl'arsoon, fu 

Ballyfaudccn, 31 

Ballyfilibeen ; town of lit', le 

Ballyfouloo; tovrn of tho 


Billygaddy 100 

BiUygir; sliort town. 

BiUygiugo, 40.5 

Ballygirriha, 203 

Ballygorteen, 18 

Ballygroany, 235 

Ballyhamil'ton, .... 108 
Ballyhay, Ballyhajs, . . 140 
Ballyhonnessy, .... 152 


Ballylvigeen ; town of little 

Teige or Timothy. 


Ballykilmurry ; town of 

Mary's church. 



Bally lanigan, 


Ballylisbeen ; town of the 

little fort. 
Ballylonghnane, . 
Ballymacadam, . 
Ballymacaquim . 
Ballymacart, . . 
Bally-MacEgan . 
Ballymacshfl,ncb( )y, 
Ballymacs! loneen 
Ballymacue, . . 
Ballj'macward, . 
Ballymadun . . 
Ballymagart, . 
Ballymagee, . 
Ballymaglin, . 
Ballymagrorty, . 
Ballymarter, . . 
Ballymascanlan, . 
BaUymather, . . 
Ballymiiiistragh, . 
Ballyniinstra,, . . 
Ballymonaster ; same as 


Bally myi'e, 

Ballynabointra, . . . . 
Ballynabrann:igh, . . . 
Ballynabrennagh, . . . 
Ballynacarrow ; town of the 



Ballynacrusha; town of tlie 

BallynaculUa ; town of tho 













Iinlc.r of Nf Dies. 


Ballynngnlliagli, .... 94 
Eallynng'tlsliy, .... 9 
B:illjn;igleragh .... 90 
Ballynagonnaghtagli, . . 123 
Ballynagrena, .... 235 
Ballynaguilkee ; town of 

the broom-buslies. 
Ballynaleck ; town of the 

Ballynalour, . . 
Ballynametagh, . 
Ballynamintra, . 
Ballynaraire, . . 
Ballynamongarce, . . 117, 
Eallynamult, . . 
Ballynanama, . . 
Ballynanoose, . . 
Ballynant, Ballynanty, 
Ballynnnultngh ; town of 

the Ulstertnen. 
Ballynasaggart ; priests' 

Ballynascrah, Ballynascraw, 
BallynasciiUoge, .... 
Ballynasilloge ; town of 

the sallows. 
Ballynaskeagh ; town of 

the bushes. 
Ballynaskreena ; town of 

the shrine. 

Ballynasrah, 376 

Ballynasiiddery, . . . . 115 
Ballynattin ; town of the 

Ballynaveuooragh, . . . 268 
Ballynona, ...'... 198 
Ballynearla; town of the earl. 

Bally nookery 117 

Ballynooney, 198 

Ballyoran, 144 

Ballyoughter, Ballyough- 

teragh, 415 




Ballyoughtra, Eallyouglit- 

ragh, 41.5 

Ballyowen, ..... IfO 

Bally padeen, 31 

Ballyquintin, 1£3 

Ballyreagh, Ballyreragh ; 

gi-ey town. 

Ballyrider, 101 

Ballyrishteen,B^llyristecn, 166 
Ballyrusheen ; town of the 

little wood. 

Ballyruther, 101 

Ballysheil, 75 

Ballyshonock, . . . . 165 
Ballyshurdane, . . . . 165 
Ballysmuttan, .... 332 

Ballytoran, 107 

Bally tory, 51 

Ballytresna ; cross town. 
Ballytroddan, .... 431 
Ballyvicraaha ; town of 

Matthew's son. 
Ballyricnncally, .... 140 
Ballyyori sheen ; town of 

Little Maiu-ice. 
Ballyvourncy, . . . . 133 
Ballyward, . .- . . . 110 
Ballywillin; town of the mill. 

Baltimore, 356 

Baltynanima ; towns of the 

soul : see p. 435. 

Banada, 394 

Banew river, ':I47 

Bannixtown, 362 

Banoge, 3(52 

Bansha, Banshy, .... 9 

Baravore, 391 

Bargarriff ; rough top. 

Barheen, 40 

Barlahan ; M-ide top. 

Barley Lake, 304 

Barraees, 377 

Barnabaun ; white gap. 

Barnadown, 274 

Barnageehy, Barnana- 

geehy, ...... 240 


Index of Names. 

of the 


Barnagree, . . . 
Barnalaskaw, . . 
Barrafoliona, . . 
Barranamanoge, . 
Barratogher ; top 

Barrawinga, . . . , 
BaiTeen, . . . . , 
Bartragb, Bartraw, . 
Baiinanattin ; lea-field 

the fuvze. 
Baimbrack ; speckled lea- 
Baunnageeragh ; lea-field 

of the sheep. 
Baunoge, Baunta, . . . 
Bauntabarna ; lea-fields of 

the gap. 



Baurgorm ; blue top. 


Bauteoge river, .... 



Bawnacowma, . . . . 
Bawnagappul ; lea-field of 

the horses. 




BawnatanaToher, . . . 
Bawnishall ; low lea-field. 


BawniiagoUopy, .... 


Bawnoge, Bawnogcs, 
Bawnshanaclough ; 

of the old castle. 
Bawntard, . . . 
Bealaclare, . . . 
Bealanabrack, . . 


















Bealnalicka ; ford - mouth 

of the flag-stone. 

Eearna-tri-carbad, . . . 172 
Beenbane ; white peak. 

Bcenrour, 396 

Begerin or Begery, . . . 392 

Begrath, 393 

Behamore ; great birch- 

Bel-atha-na-bhfabhciin, . 175 

Belclare, 219 

Beldaragh ; ford-mouth of 

Belderg, 271 

Bellacorick, 382 

Belladrihid ; ford - mouth 

of the bridge. 

Bellaghaderg, Bellahaderg, 271 

Bellahecn, 40 

Bellanaboy, 273 

Bellanaderg, 271 

Bellanaganny, or Mill 

Brook, 117 

Bellanaloob, 401 

Bellanamallaght, . . . 449 

Bellanode, 360 

Bellareua, 100 

Bellary 325 

Bellaslishen Bridge, . . 196 

Bellataleen, 250 

BeUatrain, 104 

Bellaugh, 365 

Bellaveel, 284 

Belle Isle, 440 

Bellmount, 17 

Belnagarnan ; ford-mouth 
of the little earns. 

Benbradagh, 109 

Benburb, 441 

Benerom, . ■. 398 

Bencullagh 280 

Benduff ; black peak. 
Benedin ; peak of the hill- 

Bengorm, 275 

Ben\yee, 273 

Index of Names. 


Bertragliboy bay, . . . 364 
Beybeg, Beaglibeg ; little 

Beymore, Beaglimore ; big 

Biliary, 325 

BiUeragh, 325 

Billis, Billises, Billoos ; 
plural of bile; i.e. old 
trees (see 1st Ser.). 

Bingorms, 275 

pinkeeragh ; peak of sheep. 
Binmore ; big peak. 
Binmuck ; peak of the pigs. 
Birreencarragh, .... 18 

Blabreenagh 309 

Black Hill, 263 

Black Lake, 269 

Black Mountain, . . . 263 

Blackwater, 261 

Blagh, 309 

Blainroe, 258 

Blane, 258 

Blauey, 258 

Blarney, 27 

Blean, ....... 258 

Bleanalung, • . . . . 258 

Bleanish, 258 

BleaukiUew, 258 

Bleannagloos, .... 2.58 

Bleanoran, 258 

Blinclwell, 88 

Bluestack Mountains, . . 275 
Boarheeny ; the plural of 
borheen ; i.e. little 
Bogagh, . . . . r . 46 

Boggagh, 46 

Boggaghduff ; black bog. 
Boggan, Boggaun, ... 46 
Boggaunreagh ; grey little 
soft place (see p. 46). 

Boggeen, 31 

Boggeragh Mountains, . 7 

Boggy, 46 

Boggyheary, 46 


Boghill, 412 

Boghilbregagh, .... 412 

Bohammer, 407 

Boherawillin ; road of the 

Boherbraddagh, .... 108 
Boherdotia ; burnt road. 
Bohereenacluher, . . . 243 
Bohergarve ; rough road. 
Bohernameeltoge, . . . 284 
Bohernamias or Boherna- 

meece, 189 

Bohernamona ; road of the 

Bohernasassonagh, . . . 121 

Bohilbreaga, 412 

Boleydorragha ; dark booley 

or dairy-place. 
Boleynanoidtagh, . . . 123 

Bonet river, 15 

Bonnygleu, 64 

Boolabaun ; white dairy- 
place (p. 361). 
Boolanacausk, .... 437 
Boolattin ; dairy-place of 

Booleynagreana Lough, . 235 

Boolinrudda, 350 

Boolycreen; withered dairy- 
Borheenduff ; black little 

road (p. 260). 
Boughal Breaga, . . . 412 

Bougliilbo, 412 

BoughiU, 412 

Boulaniiuerish, .... 430 

BoTolcan, 21 

Boyaghan, 81 

Brackbaun, 281 

Brackeuagh, (5 

Brackernagh, 17 

Bracklagh, 6 

Brackly, 6 

Bracknagh, 6 

Bracknaheyla, .... 281 
Bracknamuckley, . . . 281 


Index of Names. 


Brackney, 6 

Brackvoan ; speckled bog. 

Brackyle, 281 

Breagagh, 413 

Breanagh, 375 

Breandi-um, 375 

Breanletter ; stinking wet- 

hiU-side (p. 374). 

Breanoge, 375 

Breanska, Breansliagh, . 375 

Breany, 375 

Breckinish ; speckled island. 

Bregoge river, .... 413 

Brenog, 375 

Brenter, ...... 374 

Brickeen Bridge .... 300 

Briencan, 32 

British, 282 

Brittas, 14,282 

Brogeen river .... 184 

Broguestown, .... 184 

Broighter, 415 

Bromore, 205 

Broiigh, . . . . . . 205 

Broughan, Broughane, . 205 

Broughanlea, 205 

Broughderg, 205 

Brougher, 12 

Brouglimore, 205 

Broughsbane, .... 205 

Bryantang, 404 

BuUig, Bulligs, .... 242 
Bunacurry ; end of the 


Bunaglanna, 64 

Bunanass ; end of the 

Bunaninver ; end of the 

river mouth. 

Bunbeg, 391 

Bimcam ; crooked end. 

Bunclody, 372 

Buncurrig ; end of the 


Bmidoran, 380 

Bunduff, 261 


Bunduvowen ; end of the 

black river (p. 260). 
Bunglasha ; end of the 


Buninubber, 366 

Bunkey, 373 

Bumiabinnia ; end of the 

Bunnablayneybane, . . . 258 
Bunuadober ; end of the wells. 
Bunnafinglas ; end of the 

clear stream (p. 266). 
Bimnariiddee, .... 351 

Bunnaton, 252 

Bmmynubber, . . . . 366 
Buni-awer ; thick end. 

Buntalloon, 359 

Burn Dennet, .... 15 

Buruham, 256 

Burrencarragh ; rough rocky 

land (p. 445). 

Cackanode, 162 

Cadamstown, 141 

Caha Mountains, . . . 247 
Caheraderry ; stone fort of 

the oak wood. 

Caherakeeny, 319 

Caherateemore ; stone fort 

of the great house. 
Caheratrim ; stone fort of 

the elder bush. 
Caherbaun ; white stone-fort. 
Caherblonick, .... 204 

Caherbullog, 193 

Cahercullenagh ; stone fort 

of holly. 
Caherduff ; black stone-fort. 
Caherduggan ; Duggan's 


Caherea, 148 

Caherhemush ; James's stone- 
Caherminnaiin, .... 294 
Cahermone, Cahermoneeu ; 

stone-fort of the bog. 

Index of Names. 



Cahernageeha ; stone fort 

of the wind (p. 240). 
Cabernagollum ; stone fort 

of the pigeons (p. 291). 
Oahernauiuck ; stone fort 

of the pigs. 
Cahircliiff ; black stone fort. 
Cahnicaun wood, . . . 339 
Calliaghstown, .... 9-i 

Cam, Cams 397 

Camagh, 397 

Camas 398 

Camgart, Oamgort, . . . 397 
Camillaun ; crooked island. 
Camletter ; crooked wet- 

hiUside (p. 397). 
Camlin, Camline, . . . 397 

Camma, 397 

Cammock or Camac river 397 

Cammoge, 397 

Camowen, 397 

Camp, 59 

Camplagh, (>0 

Camus, Camus Eridge, . 398 

Canary 113 

Canbeg ; small head or hill. 
Candroma ; head of the ridge. 
Canearagh ; western head. 
Cangort, ...... 397 

Cannaboe ; head or hill of 

the cow. 

Canon island, 91 

CanpiU 2.5.5 

Canrawer, 396 

Cantogher ; head of the 

Cappaboy ; yellow jjlot. 
Cappadufp ; black plot. 
Cappafaulish, .... 226 
Cappagarriff ; rough plot. 
Cappaghduff ; black plot. 
Cappaghnahoran, . . . 304 
Cappaghnanool ; plot of 

the apples. 
Cappalahy ; plot of the 

slough (p. 365). ' 

2 H 

Cappanaborma ; plot of the 

Cappanalosset, .... 
Cappanamrogue ; plot of 

the shoes (p. 183). 


Cappanajjisha ; plot of the 

pease (p. 305). 
Cappanargid ; plot of the 

silver (p. 345). 
Cappanaslish, .... 
Cappanasmear, .... 
Cappanavar; plot of the 




Cappyroe ; red plot. 
Carabine Bridge, . . . 
Caranadoe bridge, . . . 
Cargaghramer ; thick rocky 

place (p. 395). 


Carheenadiveane, . . . 
Carhoonaphuca ; the quar- 
ter-laud of the foolca. 


Carnanbane ; white little 

earn (p. 269). 
Carnanreagh ; grey little 

earn (p. 276). 
Carnbeagh ; earn of the 

Carn-connachtach, . 
Caruduff ; black earn. 
Carnkeeran ; cam of the 

Carn-mic-Tail, . . . 
Carnoughter ; upper earn 
Carntogher Hills, 
Carrickatane, Carrickateane 
Carrickatee ; rock of the 

house (teach). 
Carrickatloura . . . . 















Index of Names. 


Camckbaun, 2G9 

Carrickduff 260 

Carrickeeshill ; low rock. 

Carrickfin, 265 

Carrickgallogly, . . . . 1U5 

Cari'ickittle 39 

Carrickleagh, .... 277 
Carrickinannan, .... 294 
Carrickmore, .... 393 
Oarricknagat, .... 282 
Carricknahoriia ; rock of 

the barley (p. 304). 
Carricknaslate, . . . . 174 
Oarrickreagh, Carrickre- 

Tagb, _ 277 

Carriekspringan, . . . 306 
Carricktroddan, .... 431 
Oarrigacunna ; rock of the 

fire-wood (p. 331). 
Carrigafly or Carrigaplau, 77 
Carrigafreaghane ; rock of 

the whortleberries. 

Carrigahorig 381 

Cari'iganimma, . ... 204 
Carriganookery ; rock of 

the fuller (p. 117). 
Carrigapheepera : 422 note. 
Carrigaplau or carrigafly, 77 

Carrigart, l.")! 

Carrigathoii, 323 

Carrigatogber ; rock of the 


Carrigbaun, 269 

Cari'igcannon, .... 269 
Carrigeenagappul ; little 

rock of the horses. 
Carrigfadda ; long little rock. 
Carriglea, Carrigleagb, . 277 

Carriglead, 395 

Carrigleigh, 277 

Carrigiusky ; burnt rock. 

Carrigmannon 294 

Carrigmoorna, .... 133 

Carrignagat, 282 

Carrignagroghera ; rock of 

the hangmen. 



Carriguarone, . . . 

Carrigparson, . . . 

Carrigrour, .... 

Carrigskeewauu, . . 

Carrivekeeny, . . • 

Carrivetragh ; lower land- 
quai'ter (p. 415). 

CaiTOwblagh, .... 

Carrowboy ; yellow land- 
quai'ter (p. 272). 

Carrowcarragh ; rough 
quarter-land (p. 445). 

Carroweighter, .... 

Carrowfarnaghan, . . 

Carrowfree ; quarter-land 
of heath. 

Carrowgar ; short quarter- 
land (p. 393). 

Carrowkeeny, .... 

Carrowlaur ; middle quar- 
ter (p. 418). 

Carrowraenagh ; middle 
quarter (p. 417). 

Carrownaganonagh, . . 

Carrownagark ; quarter of 
the (heath-) hens (p. 289) 

Carrownaglearagli , 

Carrownamallaght, . . 

Carrownaskeagh ; quarter- 
land of the white-thorns. 


Oarrowntassona ; quarter- 
land of the Enghshman. 

Carrowntawa, Carrowntawy 

Carrowntedaun ; quarter- 
land of the breeze (jd. 241). 

CarrowntemjDle ; quarter- 
land of the church. 

Carrownurlaur, .... 402 

Carrowshanbally ; quarter- 
land of the old town. 

Carrowtrasna ; cross quar- 
ter-land (p. 418). 

Carryblagh, 309 

Cartronageeragh ; quarter- 
land of the sheep. 








Index of Names. 



Cartronbower, .... 48 
Carti'onfree ; quarter-land 

of heath. 
Cartronkeel ; narrow quar- 
ter-land (p. 395). 

Cashel-oir, 342 

Cashelreagh ; grey stone- 
fort (p. 276). 

Cashla, 2.57 

Caslileen, 2.57 

CashlieTe, .... 396, 397 
Caslanakirka : castle of the 
hen (p. 289). 

Castlebeg, 390 

Castleboy ; yellow castle. 

Castle-Eyre, 132 

Castlegar, 394 

Castlehayen, 2.54 

Castlekirk, 290 

Castlemartyr, .... 435 

Castlemore 390 

Castlenageeha ; castle of 
the wind (p. 240). 

Castlenode, 360 

Castleore, 441 

Castleroe ; red castle. 
Castleruddery ; castle of 

the knight (see p. 101). 
Castletownroche, . . . 166 
Castletoodry ; castle of the 
tanner (see p. 114). 

Cautheen, 441 

Cavanagrow, 308 

Cayanakeeran ; round hill 

of the mountain ash. 
Cavanaquill ; round hill of 
the hazel. 

Care, 321 

Cavey 321 

Church Mountain or Sheve- 

gadoe, 433 

Claddngh, . . . 371,372 

Clady, 372,373 

Clagan, Claggan, . . . 404 
Claggarnagh, .... 16, 404 


Clamper Land, .... 430 

Clampernew, 430 

Clamperpark, .... 430 
Clandeboye or Clannaboy, 149 
Claraghy ; level field 

(achadh) . 
Clare, Clare-G-alway, . . 218 
Clare Bridge, .... 219 
Claremore ; great level place. 

Clarinbridge, 219 

Clarisford, 218 

Clash, 216 

ClashacoUare, .... 352 

Clashacrow, 220 

Clashafree ; trench of the 

Clashagarriff, .... 444 

Clashalaher, 115 

Clashauiska, Clashanisky ; 

trench of the water. 
Clasharinky ; trench of the 

Clashavicteery ; trench of 

the wolf. 
ClashaTodig; trench of the 

clown (see p. 160). 

Clashbane, 269 

Clashcarragh ; rough trench. 

Clashgarriff, 444 

Clash gortmore ; trench of 

the great field. 
Clashnabuttry, . . . . 115 
Clashnadarriv ; trench of 

Clashnamonadee, . . . 2(')3 
Clashnamrock, .... 216 
Clashnasiuut, .... 332 
Clashreagh ; grey 
Clay, . . 
Cleady stream 
Cleaghbeg, Cleagl 







Index of Names. 


Clealieen, 195 

Cleanglass, 400 

Cleanrath, 399 

Cleaveragb, Cleayry, . . 7 

Cleedagb, 372 

Cleen, 399 

Cleenagh, 400 

Cleenillaun; sloping island. 

Cleenrah, 399 

Cleens, 400 

Cleeny, 400 

Cleggan, 404 

Clegna, Clegnagb, . . . 404 

Clenagh, 400 

Clenlougb, 400 

Clievragh, 8 

Cliff ony 194 

Clobanna, 448 

Clobemon, 177 

Clodagb, 372 

Clodiagb river, .... 372 

Cloggernagb, 16 

Clodragb .... 372, 373 

Clody, 372 

Clogbanarold, 168 

Clogbagaddy ; stone or 

stone castle of tbe tbief 

(see p. 109.) 

Clogbannagarragb, . . . 119 

Clogbanower, .... 442 

Clogbaroasty, .... 166 
Clogbayiller ; stone or 

stone castle of tbe water- 
cress . 

Clogberbanny, .... 448 
Clogbglass; green stone or 

stone castle (p. 274). 
Clogbinarney ; stone, or 

stone castle of tbe sloe- 


Clogbjordan, 165 

Clogblea, Clogbleagb, Clogb- 

leigb ; grey stone, or stone 

castle (p. 277). 

Clogblin, 385 

ClogbnakeaTa, .... 321 


Clogbnamallagbt, . . . 449 

Clogbnasbade, .... 357 

Clogbore, 347; grey stone, or 
stone castle (p. 276). 

Clogbroe, 271 

Clonarrow, 301 

Clonavogy 46 

Clonbane ; wbite meadow. 
Clonboy ; yellow meadow. 

ClonbuUoge, 193 

Clonbunniagb, .... 387 

Clonbunny, 387 

Cloncannon ; speckled mea- 
dow (p. 268.) 

Cloncarneel, 353 

Cloncorig, 381 

Cloncracken, 115 

Cloncrew 328 

Cloneblaugb, 308 

Clonegali, Clonegatb, . . 175 
Clongaddy ; meadow of tbe 
tbief (see p. 109.) 

Clonganny, 354 

Clonjordan 165 

Cloniiff, 317 

Clonlisb or Cleanlisb, . . 400 

Clonmackan, 330 

Clonmacnowen, .... 139 

Clonmannan, 294 

Clonmeen, 376 

Clonmona ; meadow of tbe 


Clonoura, . . . . • . . 266 
Clonreagb ; grey meadow. 
C'lonroe ; red meadow. 

Clonrud, 351 

Clonsbire, 424 

Clontuskert, 429 

Clontyeoora 71 

Clontyduffy; O'Dnffy's 

Clontyglass; green meadows. 

Clontyseer, 452 

C'lood 401 

CloodreTagb, 401 

index of Names. 



Clooclrummau, .... 401 
Cloonacarrow ; meadow of 

the quarter-land. 
CloonagaUon, .... 288 
Cloonaghmore ; great mea- 
dow land. 

Cloonalom", 81 

Cloonametagh, . . . . Ill 
Cloonanearla ; the earls 

Cloonanure ; meadow of 

the yew. 
Cloonapisha ; meadow of 
the pease (p. 305). 

Cloonargid 345 

Cloonatleva ; meadow of 
the mountain. 

Cloonbony, 387 

Cloonbornia; rocky mea- 
Cloonboy ; yellow meadow. 
Cloonboygher, .... 10 

Cloonbunny, 387 

Clooncannon, 269 

Cloonconny, 332 

Cloonconra; Oonra's mea- 

Clooncoorha, 71 

Clooncorick, Clooncorig, . 381 

Clooncraff, 327 

Clooncraffield, .... 328 

Clooncrave, 328 

Clooncrim, 161 

Clooncruffer, 92 

Clooncunna, 332 

Clooncunnig, 332 

Clooncunny, 332 

Cloondahamper, .... 408 

Cloouearagh, 424 

Clooneenbaun ; white little 

meadow (p. 361). 
Clooneshil ; low meadow. 
Cloonfad, Gloonf adda ; long 

meadow (p. 393). 
Cloonfinglas ; meadow of 
the clear stream (p. 266). 


Cloonflugh; wet meadow. 

Cloongarve, 444 

Clooningan, 402 

Clooninisclin, .... 383 
Cloonkeel; narrow meadow. 
Cloonkeen; beautiful mea- 
dow (p. 62). 
Cloonkeennagran ; beautiful 

meadow of the trees. 
Cloonlahard ; meadow of 
the gentle height. 

Cloonlavis, 13 

Cloonleagh; grey meadow. 
Cloouraaan; middle mea- 
dow (p. 417). 
Clooumackan, . . . • 330 

Cloonmeen, 376 

Cloounaf uuchin ; ash - tree 

Cloonnagoppoge, . . . 327 

Cloonnagrow, 307 

Cloonnagunuane, . . . 137 

Cloonnahorn, 146 

Cloonnahulty, .... 124 
Cloonamna ; meadow of the 

Cloonnavaddoge ; meadow 
of the plovers. 

Cloonoan, 126 

Cloououghter ; upper mea- 
dow (p. 414). 
CloonraUagh ; meadow of 
the oak. 

Cloonriddia, 351 

Cloonselherny, .... 17 

Cloonsellan, 337 

Clooushear, 424 

Cloonshean, 243 

Cloonshinnagh ; meadow 
of the foxes. 

Cloonshivna, 315 

Cloonsnaghta, .... 245 
Cloontirm ; dry meadow. 

Cloontogher, 431 

Cloontooa, 429 

Cloontuskert, 429 


Index of Names. 


Cloontyraweenagh, . . . 123 
Cloouulty ; Ulsterman's 

meadow (p. 123). 
Clooiiybeirne; OEeirne's 

Cloonybrien, 134 

Cloonygormican, .... 23 

Cloonyliea, 149 

Cloonykelly, 134 

Cloonyquin ; O'Quin's mea- 

Cloos, 403 

ClooscuUen, 403 

Cloosguire, . . . . . 403 

Cloosh, 403 

Clooshgirrea, 403 

Cloosmore ; great ear. 
Cloughfin ; white stone or 
stone castle. 

Clowater, 415 

Clownstown, 160 

Cloydiigh, 372 

Cloyfin, 215 

Cliud, Cluide 401 

Cluutygeeragh ; meadows 
of sbee]5. 

Clybaiin, 215 

Clyda, Clydagb, .... 372 

Clyglass, 215 

Clykeel, 215 

Clynabroga, 215 

C'lynan, 33 

Clyroe, 214, 215 

Clytagb, 8 

Coad, 442 

Coan, 254 

Coctow, 162 

Collierstown, 95 

Colligan 32 

Comeragli, 4 

Comillane ; crooked island 


Commeenaplau, .... 77 

Cammock, Cammoge, .. . 397 

Cones, 254 

Cong, 386 


Congo, 387 

Courea, 432 

Conray, 432 

Controversy, Controversy 

Land, 430 

Coogulla, Coogyiilla, . 161, 162 
Coolaclamper, .... 430 

Coolaclevane, 194 

Coolacork, 304 

Cooladerreen ; corner of 

the little oak. 
Coolaf mishoge ; corner of 

the ash-trees. 
Coolagari'y; back of the 


Coolakip, 333 

Coolaknick ; back of the 

Icnoch or hill. 

Coolaleen, 310 

Coolamber, 408 

Coolanarroo, 301 

Coolanearl, 58 

Coolaneelig ; corner of the ■ 

Coolauillami ; back of the 

Cooiasmattane, .... 333 
Coolasnaghta ; hill-back or 

corner of the snow (p. 244). 

Coolataggle, 305 

Coolatanavally ; back of 

the old town (p. 451). 
Coolateggai-t ; hill-back or 

corner of the priest. 

Coolavacoose, 221 

Coolavanny, 201 

Coolavokig, 159 

Coolballintaggart; back of 

the 23riest"s town. 
Coolcaiun ; crooked corner 

(p. 243). 
Coolcloher ; sheltry corner. 

CoolcoghiU, 195 

Coolcraff ; hill-back of wild 

garlick (p. 327). 
CoolcuUata, 456 

Index of Names. 


Coolcli-inagh ; angle of the 

Cooldorragh, Gooldorragha, 

Cooldm-ragha ; dark cor- 
Cooleighter ; lower corner 

(p. 415). 

Coolfm, 265 

Coolflugh ; wet corner, or 

hill-back (p. 388). 

Coolfore, 246 

Coolfune, 265 

Coolgarriff, Coolgarve,Cool- 

garrow ; rough corner or 

hill-back (p. 444). 

Coolkelliu'e, 69 

Coolkip, 333 

CoolMrky, • 289 

Coolknoohill, 307 

Coollegrean, . ... . . 234 

CooUisduff; angle of the 

black fort. 

Coolmuiuga, 370 

Coolnabanch, 9 

Coolnabinnia ; back of the 

Coolnacloghafinna ; hill - 

back of the white stone. 
Coolnaconarty, .... 43 
Coolnacrunaght ; corner or 

hill-back of the wheat 

(p. 301). 

Coolnagaug, 405 

Coolnagillagh ; corner of 

the grouse-cocks (p. 289.) 

Coolnagloose, 404 

Coolnahorna, 304 

Coolnapish, Coolnapisha, . 305 
Cooluashamroge, ... 55 
Coolnasillagh ; angle of the 

sallows (p. 336). 

Coolnasmear, 307 

Cooloultha, 123 

Coolpowra, 305 

Coolquoy, 373 


Coolraheen ; angle of the 

small fort. 
Coolrawer ; thick hill-back 

(p. 395). 
Coolreagb ; grey comer or 

hill-back (p. 276). 

Coolshangan, 285 

Coolshingaun, .... 285 

Coolsythe, 175 

Coolteen, 40 

Coolumber, 408 

Coolydoody ; O'Douda's 

corner or hiU-bank (p. 


Coomakeoge, 248 

Coomanaspig ; bishop's hol- 
low (p. 90). 

Coomanore, 344 

Coomataharn or Coomasa- 

harn, 437 

Coomatallin, 352 

Coomavanniha, .... 447 
Coonane, Cooneen, . . . 254 
Coomcallee ; hag's valley. 
Coomdorragha ; dark valley. 
Coomleagh; grey valley. 

Coomuore, 254 

Coonoge, ...... 2.54 

Coos, 256 

Copany, Copney, . . . 327 

Coppanagh, 327 

Corblonog, 204 

Corcoge Mountain, . . . 44:5 
Corcraff ; round hill of wild 

garlick (p. 327). 
CorcuUionglish, .... 275 
Cordevlis; round hill of the 

black fort (p. 263). 
Corf ad ; long round hill. 
Corflugh ; wet round hill. 

Corick, -382 

Corker, Corker Eoad, . . 223 
Coi'lattycarroll ; round hill 

of O' Carroll's laght or 

monmnent (p. 133). 


Index of Names. 


Corlat tylannan ; roimd Mil 

of O'Lannan's laght. 
Cormaddyduff ; round hill 

of the black dog. 

Cormeeltan, 284 

Cormonalea ; round hill of 

the grey bog (p. 277). 
Cormorant Island, . . . 220 
Cornabrogue; round hill of 

the shoe (p.l83). 

Cornadrung, 439 

Cornafurrish, 58 

Cornagashlaun ; round hill 

of the castles. 
Cornagillagh ; see next 

Cornaguillagh, .... 290 
Cornakinnegar ; round hill 

of the rabbit warren. 
Cornamart ; round hill of 

the beeves (p. 296). 

Cornameelta 284 

Cornacask, Cornacausk, . 437 
Cornamuddagh ; round hill 

of the clowns (p. 160). 

Cornawall, 212 

Cornery, 113 

Corradillar, 11 

Corranabinnia 408 

Corranarry, Corraneary, . 113 

Corranroo, 324 

Corrantarramud, ... 1,5 

Corrarod, 350 

Corratanvally ; round hill 

of the old town (p. 451). 
Carraviller; round hill of 

water cress. 
Correagh ; grey round hill. 
Corrignagrena, .... 233 

Corrintra, 376 

Corrower, 278 

Corrybrennan ; O'Breiiuan's 

round hill (p. 133.) 
Corrybrackan or Corry- 

Treckan, 409 

Corryloughaphuill, . . 408 


Corsillagh, 336 

Corsilloga 336 

Cortrasua; cross hill. 
Corvickremon ; round hill 

of Redmond's son (pp. 

139, 164). 

Cotteeuagh, 441 

Cottian, 441 

Coultry, 9 

Coumbrack ; speckled ral- 

ley (p. 296). 

Coumnagillagh, .... 290 

Courtmacsherry, . . . 165 

Couse, 214 

Craffield, 328 

Craggex-a, 11 

Craggycorradan ; O'Corra- 

dan's rock (p. 133). 

Craggy kerrivan, . . . . 127 

Craigahulliar, .... 352 
Craiganboy ; yellow little 

Craigfad; long rock. 

Craignahorn, 304 

Craignasasonagh, . . . 121 
Craigroe ; red rock. 

Cranagher, 9 

Cranalagh, 5 

Cranally, 6 

Cranareen, 41 

Cranavaneen, 362 

Cranfield, Cranfield Point, 329 

CrankiU 329 

Cranmore ; great tree. 

Crannslough, 367 

CrawhiU, 329 

Creagh, .... 206, 369 

Crecora, 71 

Cree, Creea, 206 

Creeharmore, 368 

Ci'eelagh, Creelogh, . . . 367 

Creenasmear, 307 

Creeragh, 369 

Crceran, Creei'aun, . . . 369 

Creeslough 379 

Creeveeshal; low branch. 

Index of Names. 



Creevelea, 278 

CreeTenamanagh ; branch 

of the monks (p. 93). 

Creewood, 394 

Cregaree ; rock of the king. 

Crehanagh, 368 

Creraorgan, 133 

Crillan, Crillaun, . . • 368 

CriUy, 368 

Crinnaghtane, Crinnagh- 

taun, 303 

Croaghgorm, 27.5 

Croaghnageer, .... 306 

Croaghnakern, .... 10() 

Croaghnameal, .... 284 

Croase, 14 

Crockacleayen, .... 194 

Crockaleen, 310 

Crockasloura, 204 

Crockateggal ; hill of the rye. 

Crocknaglugh 290 

Crocknafarbreague ; hill of 

the false men (p. 411). 

Croincha, 220 

Cromaghy, 399 

Cromane, 399 

Cromoge, 399 

Crompaunyealduark, . . 72 

Cronacarkfree, .... 289 

Oronakerny, 106 

Croncheo 248 

Crone, Cronebane, . . . 364 
Cronecribbin ; Cribbin's round 


Cronkill 274 

Cronroe, 364 

Cronybyrne, 364 

Crooderry, 446 

Crory, 11 

Crossbane ; white cross. 

Crossernaganny 117 

Crosslea ; grey cross. 

Crossmaglen , . . . . 146 

Cruan, 37 

Cruary, 11 

Cruell, 37 


Cruramoge 399 

Crmupami, 255 

Crunagh, Crimaght, . . 303 

Criminish, 274 

CrunkiU, 274 

Crylough, 367 

Cuillare, 352 

Cuilleenoolagh, .... 442 

Cniltybo, Cuiltybobigge, . 419 

Cuingareen, 42 

Culcavy, 321 

Culcrow, 220 

Culdaff, 411 

CuUaii'bane, 352 

CullenBog, 341 

CuUenoge, 18 

Cullenramer ; thick holly 

(p. 395). 
Ciillyramer, . . . 
Culmore, .... 
Cummeragh river, . 
Cung, The, . . . 
Cungmore Point, 
Curkacrone, . . . 



Curraghacronacon, . 
Curraghalaher, • . 
Curraghaleen, . . 
Curraghanearla, . . 
Curraghataggart ; marsh of 

the priest (p. 91). 
Curraghatawy, .... 
Curraghbaun ; white marsh 
Cm-raghbonaun, .... 
Curraghbower, .... 
Cnrraghfad ; long marsh (p. 

Curraghlane ; broad marsh 

(p. 394). 
Curraghmeelagh, . . 
Curraghmoghaim, . . . 
Curraghsallagh, .... 
Curraghslagh, .... 
Curraghtarsna ; cross marsh 

(p. 418). 
Curraghwheery 331 






Index of Names. 


Curraglass ; green marsh (p. 


Curragrean, 234 

Curraleigh ; grey marsh (p. 


Currantavy, 323 

Currasilla, 337 

Currawatia, 388 

Curryeighter ; lower marsh. 
Ciu-ryglass ; green marsh. 

Currynierin, 349 

Curryoughter ; upper marsh. 

Cushahng, 3.S5 

Cuskenny, 2.56 

Cutteanta, 441 

Cutteen, 441 

Dalgan, Dalgin, .... 19 

Dalhgan, 20 

Danes' Cast, 215 

Danesfield 134 

Dargan, 39 

Dargle, 38 

Dariheen Diarmada, . . 41 

Darrigal, Darrigil, ... 39 

Dartfield, 175 

Dart Mountain, .... 295 

Darver, 10 

Dayagh, 410 

Decies, baronies of, . . . 427 

Deece, baronies of, . . . 425 

Deelis, Deelish, .... 263 

Deenagh, 443 

Deenish, 263 

Delgany, 2(5 

Delliga, Delligabaun, . . 334 

Delour rirer, 10 

Derdimus, 442 

Derganagh, Dergany, . . 26 

Dergbrough, 205 

Dergenagh, 'liS 

Dergraw, 271 

Dergvone ; red bog. 

Dernaglug, 181 

Dernamanagh ; oak wood of 
the monks (p. 93). 


Derraulin, 64 

Derreenacnllig, .... 290 
Derreenadouglas, ; little oak 

wood of the black stream. 
Derreenanarry, .... 438 
Derreenatawy, .... 323 
Derreenavoggy ; little oak 

wood of the bog. 
Derreennacno, .... 307 
Derreennanalbanagh, . . 121 
Derriheen at Cappaquin, . 41 
Derrinkee ; oak wood of the 

purbUnd man (p. 158). 

Derrinlester, 186 

Derrintawy, 323 

Derrintin, 252 

Derrintloura, 204 

Derrintonny 215 

Derrintray, 217 

Derrinydaly ; O'Daly's little 

oak wood. 

Derryarrow, 301 

Derrybai-d, 110 

Derrycark, 289 

Derryclure, 243 

Derrycnaw, 307 

Derrycraff, 328 

Derrycramph, .... 328 

Derrycrave, 328 

DerryculUnan, Derryculli- 

nanbeg, 391 

Dei*rydonnell 135 

Derrydooan ; Duane's oak 

grove (p. 125). 

Derrydruel, 98 

Derryevin, 64 

Derryfore, 246 

Derrygalun, 288 

Derrygeeha ; windy oak 

wood (p. 240). 

Derrygooly 201 

Derrygorry 164 

Deri-ygortrevy, .... 277 

Derrygrath, 271 

Derryiron 349 

Derrykearn, 106 

Index of Names. 





Derrykeel, 395 

Derryleagh ; grey oak wood. 

Derrylemoge, 167 

Derrymeen, 393 

Derrynabaunsliy, ... 9 
Derrynablunaaga, . . . 204 
Derrynadooey, .... 264 
Derrynagleragh ; oak wood 

of the clergy (p. 90). 
Derryiialester, .... 
Derrynaloobinagh, . . . 
Derrynamanagh ; oak wood 

of the monks. 
Derrynamraher ; oak wood 

of the friars (p. 9.5). 
Derrynasaggart, .... 

Derrynasling, 353 

Derryneece, 152 

Derrynim, 204 

Derryoughter ; upper oak 

wood (p. 414). 
Derryowen, . . . . . 150 
Derryree ; king's oak wood. 

DerryscoUop, 199 

Derrytrasna ; cross oak 

wood (p. 418). 

Derryricneill 139 

Derryvung, 370 

Descart 427 

Desertlyn, 146 

Desertoran, 144 

Devleash, 263 

Diamor 454 

Diffagher, 10 

Dillagh, 11 

Dinin river, 443 

Diris, Dinish, . . 262, 263 
Disirtowen ; Owen's hermitage. 

Diskirt 427 

Divanagh 263 

Diviny, 263 

Divis, Divish, .... 263 

Doagh, 364 

Donaghenry, 12 

Donaghta, 405 

Donaskeagh, 178 


Donegore, 137 

Donore, Donom-e, . . . 441 

Donover, 441 

DooaUy, 262 

Doobally ; black town. 
Doocarrick, Doocarrig ; black 

rock (p. 260). 

Doocatteens, 262 

Doocharn ; black earn. 

Dooederny, 417 

Dooghan 33 

Doohat, Doohatty ; black 

tate or field. 

Dooish, 263 

Doolargy ; black hill-side. 

DooUs, 263 

Doolough, 261 

Doonaghboy 5 

Doonanarroo ; fort of the 

corn (p. 300). 
Doonavanig ; fort of the 

monk (p. 93). 

Doonnawaul 212 

Doonoor, Doonoi'e, Doon- 

our, 441 

Doora, Dooragh, . . . 380 

Doornane in Kilkenny, . 34 

Dooroge, 41 

Dooros, Doorus, .... 262 

Doory, 380 

Dore 380 

Dough, Dough Castle, . . 364 

Douglas, 266 

Dovea, 374 

Doveran river in S.-otland, 380 

Dower, 379 

DownkiUybegs 390 

Dray-road, 173 

Drehidbower Bridge, . . 48 

Drehidnaglaragh, . . . 219 

Dresnagh, 335 

Dressogagh, 335 

Dressoge, 335 

Dresternagh, Dresternan, . 335 

Dring 439 

Dringeen, 439 


Index of Names. 




Drishaghaun, . • . 
Drishane, Drisheen, 
Drishoge, Drissoge, . 
Dristernan. . . . 
Dromalour, . . . 
Dromanassig ; ridge of the 


Dromcahan, 247 

Dromcluher, 243 

Dromeummer (-beg, more), 391 

Dromdihy, 411 

Dromduff ; black ridge. 

Dromgurrihy 293 

Drominboy ; yellow little 


Dromiskin, 382 

Dromkeale ; narrow ridge. 

Dromkeare, 306 

Dromkeen, G3 

Dromloughra ; ridge of 

rushes (p. 315). 
Dromorebrague, ■ . . 412 
Dromrahan, Dromrahnee ; 

ferny ridge (p. 312) 
Dromroe; red ridge. 

Druimcheo 247 

Druimnandruadh, ... 97 
Drumadart; ridge of the 

ox (p. 294). 
DrumadiUar ; ridge of foli- 
age (p. 10). 
Drumagelvin, .... 288 

Druinalagagh 433 

Drumalure 81 

Drumaneary, 113 

Drumanespick ; the bishop's 

ridge (p. 90). 

Drumantine 312 

Drumaroad ; ridge of the 

road (p. 213). 

Drumart 151 

Drumary, 113 

Drumavaddy ; ridge of the 

Drumavanagh, ... ,94 

Drumballyhagan; ridge of 

O'Hagan's town. 
Drumbanaway, .... 273 
Drumbiniiis, Drumbinnisk, 70 

Druiuboory, 12 

Drumboy; yellow ridge. 
Drumbulcan, Drumbul- 

eaun, 21 

Drumbulgan, 21 

Drmubure, 12 

Drumcannon, Drumcanon, 269 

Drumcarbit, 172 

Drumcett, 39 

Drumchorick ; ridge of 

meeting (p. 381). 
Drumclamph, .... 79 

Drumcleave, 194 

Drumcleavry, .... 8 

Drumcliff 193 

Drumcoghill, 195 

DrumcoUop ; ridge of hei- 
fers (p. 295). 

Drumcoora 71 

Drumcramph ; wild-garlick 

ridge (p. 327). 
Drunidart, Drumdartan, . 295 

Drumdiffer 262 

Drunidilia, 411 

Drumdillure ; ridge of foli- 
age (p. 10). 

Drumdran, 287 

Drumeeshal ; low ridge 
(p. 416). 

Drumeevin 64 

Drumflugh ; wetridge(p.388). 

Drumgamph, 243 

Drumgarrow, DrumgarTe; 
rough ridge. 

Drumgaw, 175 

Drumgoff, 243 

Druragramph, .... 328 

Drumguff, 242 

Drumguiff, 243 

Drumhaggart 91 

Drumhallagh ; dirty ridge. 
Drumharsna; cross ridge. 

Index of Names. 






Drumhoney, ..... 332 

Drumhoy 429 

Drumliurrin 223 

Druminacrehir, . . . 3G8 

Drumingna, . . . . 402 

Druminisclin, 383 

Druminis 383 

Drumin8Liin ; ash - tree 

Druminure ; yew ridge, 


Drumkeenagh, . . ... 


Drumlaghy; ridge of the 

slough (p. 365) 
Drumlannaght, .... 
Drumlea, Drumleagh ; grey 

ridge (p. 277). 
Drumleckney, .... 


Drumliff, DrumliiSn, . 
Drummallaght, .... 
Drummanbane ; white little 

ridge, (p. 269 
Drummanduff ; black little 

ridge (p. 260). 
Drummanlane ; wide little 

ridge (p. 394). 
Drummenagh, .... 
Drumminacknew, . . . 
Dumminacunna, . . . 
Drumminroe ; red little 

Drummonum, .... 
Drumnacanon ; ridge of the 

white -faced cow (p. 268). 



Drumnamallaght ; see 





Drumnascamph, .... 
Drumnasillagh ; ridge of 

sallows (p. 336). 






Drumnasmear, .... 307 

Drumnasorn, 222 

Drumnawall ; ridge of the 
hedges (p. 211). 

Drumqiiin, 63 

Drumrahan, Drumrahnee,. 313 

Drumraine, Drumrainy, . 313 
Drumramer ; thick ridge. 

Drumrane, 313 

Drumsallagh ; dirty ridge, 
or ridge of sallows. 

Drimisawry, 438 

DriuBscollop ; ridge of scol- 
lops (p. 198). 
Driimshancorick ; ridge of 
the old meeting (pp. 381 , 

Drumsheen, 243 

Drumskool, 363 

Drumslade, Drumsleed, . 174 

Drumsnat, 246 

Drumtarsna, 419 

Drumyarkin, 134 

Drung 439 

Drungan 439 

Duagh, 262 

Duff, 260 

Duffcarrick, 260 

Duffry, 261 

Diifless, 263 

Duggerna Eocks at Kilkee, 27 

Dimadry, 417 

Dunancory, 95 

Dunanore, 342 

Dunaree, 99 

Dunbolg, .... 192, 433 
Dunbrin ; Bran's fortress. 

DunbuUoge, . . . . ■ . 192 

Dnnbunrawer, .... 396 

Duncarbit, 172 

DuncoUog, , 176 

Dundermot, 137 

Dundooan, 125 

Dunferris ; Fergus's for- 
tress (p. 152). 

Duugeeha, ..,.,. 240 


Index of Names. 


Dunglow, 432 

Dvmgorey Castle, , ■ . 191 

Duninga, 402 

Duniry 137 

Dunishal ; low fortress. 

Dunkettle 40 

Dunkitt 39 

Dunleckny, 27 

Dunmauus ; Manus's fort. 

Dumiamanagb, .... 93 
Diinnamona; fort of the 

Dunnaval, 212 

Dunover 441 

Dunowen 150 

Dunsciillib ; fort of scol- 
lops (p. 198). 

Duog, Duvog, .... 261 
Duvillaun ; black island. 

Easterfielcl, 437 

Edenagee ; biU-brow of the 
wind (p. 240). 

Edeuagrena, 234 

Edenappa; the abbot's hill- 
brow (p. 92). 

Edenatooch'y, .... 115 

Edeuclaw, 215 

Edenreagh ; grey hill-brow. 

Edentrumly, 6 

Edercloon, 417 

Edergien 417 

Edernagh, Ederny, . . . 417 

Eighter, 415 

EUistrin, 316 

Ellistrom, EUistron, . . 316 

Emlagher, 421 

Ennislare 418 

Erne river, 455 

Erribul, 403 

Erris, Errisbeg, .... 208 

Ervallagh, 422 

Eskeradooey, 264 

Eskernabrogue, .... 184 

Esknaloughoge, .... 286 

Essnaheery, 280 


Etra, . 415 

Evish, 320 

Evishacrow, Erishbreedy, 320 

Fagher, 363 

Fahanlunaghta, .... 202 
pahavane ; white plat. 

Faher 363 

pahnia Lake, 82 

Falcarragh, 211 

Fallagh 211 

Fallinerlea, 161 

FaUoward, FaUowbeg, . .211 

Fallow] ea, FaUowvee, . • 211 

Falls, Falls Eoad, ... 212 

Falmacbreed, 211 

Falmacrilly, . . . . . 211 

Falls Road, Belfast, . . 212 

FaUowvee, 273 

Falnasoogaun, .... 211 

Faltagh, 211 

Faltia, Falty, 212 

Faltybanes, 212 

Fanad, 15 

Fananierin, 349 

Fancroft, 265 

Fanit, 15 

Fan-na-carbad, .... 171 

Fantane, ...... 40 

Farbreaga, Farbreague, . 411 
Farbreagues, . . . 411,412 

Farbregagh, 412 

Farran, 359 

Farranacurky, .... 303 

Farranagalliagh 359 

Farranaree ; land of the 

king (p. 98). 

Farranascnlloge, . . . 618 
Farranaspig ; land of the 

bishop (p. 90) 

Farranatovike, .... 359 

Farrancassidy, .... 75 

Farrancleary 90 

Farrandahadore 359 

Farrandan ; David's land. 
Farranetra : lower land. 

Index of Na files. 



Farranfore 246 

Farrangarode, Farrangar- 

ret, 360 

Farrangarre, 359 

Farranimrish ; disputed 

land (p. 430). 
Farrankeal ; narrow land. 
Farranlester ; land of the 

Tassels (p. 186). 
Farranmanagh, Farran- 

manny, 93 

Farrannamanagh, ... 93 

Farranrory, 360 

Farransculloge, . . . . 113 

Far ran seer, 452 

Farrantemple, .... 359 

Farranydaly, 360 

Faslowart 318 

Fastry, 8 

Faugher, 363 

Faulagh ,211 

Fauleens, 212 

Faulties, 212 

Fauna, 400 

Faunarooska, 400 

Faunmore ; great slope 

Faunrusk, 400 

Fawn, 400 

Fawnanierin ; slope of the 

iron (p. 348). 

Fawney 400 

Feabunaun, 291 

Feaghquin 339 

Fearagh, , 319 

Fearaun, 319 

Fearboy, Fearglass, . . . 319 
Fearnamona; grassland of 

the bog (p. 319). 
Feavautia ; flooded marsh 
(pp. 383, 378). 

Febog 527 

Fedemagh, ..... 49 

Feehary, 17 

Fennor 267 

Feorish Eiver, .... 279 


Feragh 319 

Ferbane, 319 

Fethernagh, 42 

Fetherneen, 42 

Fieries, 331 

Finaway, 265 

Finglas,Finglash, Finglasha, 266 
Finglen ; white glen. 

Finglush, 266 

Finisclin, Finisklin, . . 383 

Finnabrogue, .... 184 

Finner, 268 

Finnihy 266 

FinnisgHn 383 

Finnor, Finnure, . . . 268 

Finver, 268 

Finvoy, 265 

Firbreaga, 412 

Fish Island, 455 

Flegans, 388 

Flowerhill, 81 

Flughanagh, Flughany, . 388 

Flugherine, 41 

Fodagh, 361 

Fodeen, Fodeens, . . . 361 

Fodry, 11 

Foffanagh, 314 

Foffany (bane, reagh), . 314 

Foghanagh, Fohanagh, , 314 

Fogher, 363 

Foilaclug ; cliff of the bell. 

Foilcannon, 268 

Foildarg ; red cHff. 

Foilnacanony, .... 269 

Foorkill, 246 

Ford of Ling, .... 385 

Forekill 247 

Forelacka, 246 

Forgney, 204 

Forkill 247 

Fort-del-6r, 342 

Fostragh 8 

Fourcuil, 247 

Fourknocks, 246 

Foydragh, 8 



Index of Names. 


Funshadaun 36 

G-alcussagh, 270 

Galvone, 270 

Ganaway, Gannav;igh, , . 354 
G-annayane, Gannaveeu, . 354 

Gannew, 354 

Ganniy, 354 

Gaunoughs, 354 

Gannow, 354 

GarbaUy, 394,444 

Garinish, 419 

Garlic HiU, 329 

Garracloon, . . . 394- 444 
Garranabraher, .... 95 
GarranaMlka, . . . . 317 
Garranamanagh, ... 93 
Garrananaspick ; bishop's 

shrubbery (p. 90). 
Garranashingaim, . . . 285 
Garranboy; yellow shrub- 
bery (p. 272). 
Garrandarragh ; oak shrub- 
Garranenamuddagh ; the 
shrubbery of the clowns. 
Garranroe ; red shrubbery. 
Garraunnameetagh, . . Ill 

Garravlagh, 5 

Garreenleen; garden of the flax. 

Garrifly 6 

Garroose 14 

Garryantaggart; the priest's 

garden (p. 91). 
Garryantanvally. • • • 451 
Garrycam; crooked garden. 
Garrycloher ; sheltered 

garden (p. 243). 
Garryclone, Garrycloyne, 444 

Garrygaug 405 

Garryglass ; green garden 

Garryleagh ; grey garden 

(p. 277). 
Garrynaraona ; garden of 
the bog. 


Garrynaneaskagh, . . . 289 
Garrynatinneel, .... 223 
Garrynoe ; new garden. 
Garryroe ; red garden. 

Garshooey, 323 

Gartbratton, 120 

Gartree ; king's garden. 
Garvillaun ; rough island. 

Garroge, 445 

Gaugin mountain, . . . 406 

Gilkagh 316 

GilkyhiU, 317 

Giltagh, 317 

Glan 375 

Glananore, 344 

Glanaruddery, .... 102 

Glanbannoo, 447 

Glanbeg ; little glen. 

Glancam, 397 

Glancullare ; glen of the 

quarry (p. 352). 
Glandart, Glandirta, . . 295 
Glanmore ; great glen. 
Glannaheera, .... 280 

Glannan, 375 

Glanog 375 

Glanreagh, grey glen. 

Glascarn, 274 

Glascarrig, 274 

Glasderry ; green oak wood. 
Glasdrumman, Glasdrum- 

mond, 275 

Glasgort 176 

Glashagloragh, .... 66 
Glashananoon ; streamlet 

of the lambs (p. 293). 

Glashawling, 64 

Glasheenanarged ... 69 
Glaskill; greeawood. 

Glaslough, 275 

Glasnarget ; brook of silrer. 
Glassillan, Glassillaun . . 275 
Glasvaunta ; green lea-fields. 

Glear, 68 

Glennacunna ; glen of fu*e- 

wood (p. 331). 

Index of Names^ 



Glenahiry, 280 

Glenamuck ; glen of the 

O-lenane, G-lenaun ; little 

glen (p. 20). 
Glenaree ; glen of the king. 

Olenastar, 456 

Glenatallan, 352 

Glenatlucky, 379 

Glenaward, 110 

Glenbower, 47 

Glenboy ; yellow glen (p. 272). 

Glenbi-adagh, 109 

Glencloghlea ; glen of the 

grey-stone (p. 277)- 

Glencoppogagh, . . . 327 

Glencoum or Glencaum, . 397 

GlendaUigan, 20 

Glendavagh, 410 

Glendoo ; black glen (p. 260). 

Glenflugh, 388 

Glenfofanny, 314 

Glenga, 175 

Glenganagh, 355 

Glengar, 394 

Glengoole, 200 

Glengorm ; bluish glen. 

Glenkeel, 395 

Glenkeo ; glen of fog (p. 


Glennacannon 269 

Glennagark, 289 

Glennageare 306 

Glennamong, 322 

Glennanammer, .... 407 

Glennanummer, .... 407 

Glennascaul, 103 

Glennyhorn, 304 

Glenoge ; see Glanoge. 

Glenoognagh, .... 454 
Glenribbeen ; Robin's glen. 

Glenshane, 165 

Glentrasna ; cross glen, 

Gleoir riyer 68 

Glooria, 69 

Gloragh, 66 

2 1 


Glore, ....... 68 

Gloreen Bridge .... 66 

Gloryford, 66 

Glory River, 66 

Glouria, 69 

Gluaire, 69 

Gobnadruy 98 

Gold Mine Rirer, ... 340 

Goleen, 256 

Goragh wood, .... 24 

Gorey, 24 

Gormagh 276 

Gorminish, 276 

Gormlee, , 276 

Gortachurk, 304 

Gortaclee, , 215 

Gortacollopa ; field of the 

heifer (p. 295). 
Gortacorka ; field of oats. 
Gortaf oria ; field of beans. 

Gortaleen, 310 

Gortalughany, .... 388 

Gortanore, 343 

Gortaphoria, , . . . . 305 
Gortaree ; field of the king. 
Gortaroe ; red fields (p. 27 1 ). 
Gortaroo, Gortarowey, . 325 
Gortataggart ; priest's field. 
GortatanavaUy, .... 451 

Gortateean, 311 

Gortatray, 217 

Gortayacoosh, .... 221 
Gortavoher ; field of the 


Gortaward, 110 

Gortcam ; crooked field. 
Gortdrishagh ; brambly 

field (p. 334). 
Gorteenadrolane, . . . 287 
Gorteenapheebera ; little 

field of the piper (see 

p. 422 note). 
Gorteenaphoria, .... 305 
Gorteenashingaun ; little 

field of the pismires (p. 




Index of Names. 


Gorteenshamrogue, ... 55 

Gorteeshal, 416 

Chsrtf ree ; field of heath. 

Gorticleave, 176 

Gorticmeelra, 141 

Gortlahan, Gortlane, . . 394 
Gortlaunaght, .... 202 
Gortlogher; rushy field (p. 


Gortlownan, 33 

Gortmaloon, 294 

Gortnadiha, Gortnadihy, . 410 

Gortnadrass, 336 

Gortnafira, .... 330, 331 

Gortnagap, 333 

Gortnagark; field of the 

(heath-)hens (p. 289). 

Gortnagier, 306 

Gortnagleay, 194 

Gortnagranagher, ... 10 
Gortnahorna; field of the 

barley (p. 304). 
Gortnalahagh, .... 366 

Gortnalahee, 365 

Gortnalamph ; field of the 

wall-fern (p. 326). 
Gortnalour, Gortnaloura, 80 

Gortnalower, 80 

Gortnalughoge, .... 286 
Gortnamackan, Gortna- 

mackanee, 330 

Gortnamearacaun, . . . 312 

Gortnanoon, 293 

Gortnasciilloge ; field of the 

petty farmers (p. 112). 
Gortnashangan, Gortna- 

shingaun; field of the 

pismires (p. 284). 
Gortnasharvoge, .... 322 
Gortnasmuttaun, . . . 332 
Gortnasoolboy, .... 81 

Gortnasythe, 175 

Gortnatraw 217 

Gortreagh, Gortrevagh, . 277 
Gortree ; king's field (p. £8). 
Gortyclery, 135 


Gortyleahy, Gortymadden, 135 

Gortyloiighlin, .... 134 

Gougane, Gougane Barra, 406 

Gouladane, 36' 

Goulaspurra, 61 

Goulreagh ; grey fork (p. 276). 

Gom-ee, Gourie, .... 24 

Gowlin, 31 

Gowran, 23 

Gragadder, 417 

Graigariddy ; village of the 
iron scum (p. 350). 

Graigavine, 137 

Graignagreana ; sunny vil- 
lage (p. 233). 

Graignaspiddoge, . . . 288 
GraigueachuUaire ; village 
of the quarry (p. 352). 

Granagh, 354 

Granaghan, 354 

Granig, 354 

Grannagh, 354 

Granny, 354 

Gravale Mountain, . . . 354 

Greagh, _ . . 36» 

Greagharue ; mountain field 

of the rue (p. 323). 

Greaghawillen, .... 369 

Greaghnagee, 370 

Greaghnagleragh, . . . 370 

Greaghnaloughry, . . . 315 
Greaghrevagh ; grey moun- 
tain-field (p. 276). 
Grean ; see Knoekgrean. 

Greanagh stream, . . . 354 

Grogagh, Grogan, . . . 321 

Grogeen, Grogey, . . . 321 

Groggan, 321 

Gruig, 321 

Gubnahinneora, .... 198 

Guhard 68 

Guilcagh, Guilkagh, . . 31{> 
Gurteenaspig ; bishop's 

little field (p. 90). 

Gweebarra, ..... 259 

Gweedore, 259 

Index of Names. 



Oweesalia, 259 

Headford, 228, 229 

Headfort, 229 

Hook, Parish and Point, . 126 
Hospital 79 

Illaunatoo, 323 

Hlaunbaun ; white island. 

Illaimbower, 48 

Illauncaum ; crooked island. 
Illaunnambraher ; friars' 
island (p. 95). 

Inchafune, 265 

Inchagreana, 234 

Inchagreenoge, .... 292 
Inchalughoge, .... 286 

Inchanappa, 92 

Inchanearl; earl's island. 

Inchera, 424 

Inchinsquillib 199 

Inchintrea 217 

Inchiquin ; O'Quin's island 

Inchnanoon, 293 

Inga 402 

Ingard, 402 

Ing Point, 402 

Inisclan, Inisclin, . . . 383 

Inishbeg, 391 

Inishbobunnan, . . . . 291 

Inishcorker, 224 

Inishcraff, ...... 328 

Inishdivann 292 

Inishee 148, 405 

Inisheer 423 

Inishkeen ; beautiful island. 

Inishlounaght, .... 201 

Inishmaan, 418 

Inishmaine, 418 

Inishmeane, 418 

Inishmurray 132 

Inishoght, 405 

Inishore, 391 

Inishraher, 313 

Inishroo 324 

Inis Samer . . . 
Iraghticonor, . 
Ire stream, 
Irrelagh Abbey, 
Irrus, . . . 
Isknagahiny, . 
Island Causk, 


. 455 

. 197 

. 134 

. 280 

. 421 

. 207 
208, 243 

. 339 

. 437 

Islandgannir ; sandy island. 

Iveagh barony, .... 165 

Kanargad; silyer head or 

Keal, Keale, .... 14, 395 

Kealariddig, 351 

Kealbrogeen, 184 

Kealid, 14 

Keave, 321 

Keel, 395 

Keelagh, Keelaghy, . . . 395 
Keelderry ; narrow oak 

wood (p. 395). 

Keeltane, 40 

Keenagh, 318 

Keenaghan, 319 

Keenheen, 40 

Keenoge, 319 

Keenrath, 62 

Keerglen 264 

Keernaun, 33 

Keevagh, 321 

Keilagh, 395 

KeUs, 228, 229 

Kelsha, 9 

Kenbane, 269 

Kenramer, 396 

Kereight, 108 

Kevin's Kitchen 220 

Keyanna 373 

Keywee, 373 

Kilballyowen 150 

Kilbeacanty, 28 

Kilbegnet 23 

Kilbrack, Kilbracks, . . 281 

Kilbrittain 120 


Index of Names. 


Kilcloher, 244 

Elcloney, Kilcloony; church 

or -wood of the meadow. 

Kilcondiiff, 153 

Kilconny 332 

Kilcoorha, 71 

Kilereevanty, 28 

Kilcreman, 164 

Kilcrumper, 92 

Kilcumreragb, .... 92 

Kildellig, 334 

Kildreenagh, 4 

Kildress, 336 

Kilfane, 125 

Kilfaul, 211 

Kilfenora, 268 

Kilfergus, 152 

Kilfintan 35 

Kilfountain, 35 

Kilgilky, 317 

Kilglass; green church or 

wood (p. 274). 

Kilgraney, 236 

Kilgi-eana, Kilgreany, . . 236 

KiUabban, 206 

Killabraher ; church of the 

friar (p. 95), 
Killaelug ; church of the 

bell (p. 180). 

Killadroy, 98 

Killaghtee 148 

Killakee, 168 

Killaleen, 310 

Killananima, 436 

Killascaul, 104 

Killasnet, 28 

Killasijeenan, 306 

Killaspy, 90 

KiUeenadeema, .... 168 
Killeenboy; yellow little 

church (p. 272). 
Killeeshal; low church or 

wood (p. 416). 

Killickaweeny, .... 141 

Killimor, 197 

EoUimorbologue, .... 193 


Killinaspict ; church of the 

bishop (p. 90). 

Killinawas, 107 

Killineer, 137 

Killinordan, 198 

Killodiernan, 128 

Killodonnell, 136 

Killogilleen, 138 

Killoran, 144r 

Killoughter 415 

Kill St. Ann, 22 

Killyblane 268 

Killyblunict, 204 

Killycolpy, 296 

Killyconny, 331 

Killycracken, 115 

Killycramph ; wood of wild 

garlic (p. 327). 

Killyfad, Killyfaddy, . . 393 

Killyflugh, 388 

Killykeen, 62 

Killyleen, 310 

Killymallaght ; wood of 

curses (p. 448). 

Killynanum, 436 

Killyneary, 113 

Killyneece, 152 

Killyneery, 113 

Killynumber, 407 

Killyramer, 396 

KiUyroTer, 396 

Kilmacanearla, .... .^8 

Kilmacduagh, .... 190 

Kilmacduane, .... 126 

Kilmacnoran, . . . . 139 

Kimaglish, Kilmaglush, . 275 

Kilmaine, Kilmainemore, . 418 

Kilmakee, 149 

KilmakeTOge, .... 278 

Kilmastulla, 141 

Kilmeague, 29 

Kilmogue 29 

Kilnacolpagh, .... 296 

Kilnagarbet, 172 

Kilnageer, 306 

Kilnaheery, Kilnahera, . 280 

Index of Naines^- 



Kilnamanagh, .... 93 

Kilnamartry, 435 

Kil nappy, 93 

Kilnarovanagh, .... 122 

Kilnasiidry, 114 

Kilpadder, Kilpedder ; St. 

Peter's Church. 

Kilquain, Kilquan, . . . 153 

Kilrossanty, 8 

Kilruddery 101 

ElsaUagh, 367 

KilsaUaghan, 337 

Kilscohagh, Kilscohanagh, 309 

Kilshannig, Kilshanny, . 132 

Kilsough, 323 

Kiltallaghan, 337 

Kiltamagh, 419 

Kiltillahan, 337 

Kiltoy, 429 

Kiltrasna, 419 

Kilworth, 95 

Kinallen, 64 

KinatevdiUa, 197 

Kinawlia, 189 

Kinbally ; head of the 


Kincaslough, 257 

Kinduff ; black head. 
Kingarriff, Kingarrow, Kin- 

garve ; roughhead (p. 444). 

Kingscourt, 99 

Kiniska ; head of the water. 
Kinkeel ; narrow head. 
Kinkillew; head of the 

Kinramer ; thick head (p. 395). 

Kippeenduff, 334 

Kippin, Kippinduff, . . 334 

Kippure Mountain, . . . 333 

Kivry, 321 

Knag Hill, 11 

Knavagh, 329 

Knigh 307 

Knightstown 586 

Knock Abbey, .... 285 

Knockacaharna, .... 

Knockacappul ; hill of the 



Knockacomortish, . . . 

KnockacuUin, Knockacul- 
lion; hiU of the hoUy. 

Knockadav ; hiU of the ox. 


Knockadroleen ; hill of the 
wren (p. 287). 


Knockagh, . . . 
Knockakilly, . . 
Knookakip, . 
Knockalohert, . . 
Knockanalban , 
Knockananty, . 
Knockanaplawy, . 
Knockanarroor, . 
Knockanimrish ; hill of the 

dispute (p. 430). 
Knockanore, . 
Knockanulty, . . 
Knockaphar soon , 
Knockariddera ; knight's 
hill (p. 101). 


Knockatassonig, . . . . 





Knockaunabroona, . . . 



Knockauncarragh ; rough 
Uttle hill (p. 445. 










Judex .of Names. 


Knockaunfargarre ; little 

hill of the rough men (p. 

Knockaunroe ; red little 

hiU (p. 271). 

Knockavocka, 159 

Knockayrogeen, .... 185 
Knockavuddig, .... 160 

Knockawuddy 160 

Knockballynoe ; hill of the 

new town. 
Knockbower; deaf hill (p. 

Knockcoolkeare, .... 306 
Knockcorragh ; rough hill. 

Knockdoe, 176 

Knockearl, 58 

Knockeenatuder ; little hill 

of the tanner (p. 114). 
Knockeengancan ; little hill 

without a head. 

Knockeevan, 64 

Knockergrana, 12 

Knocker sally, 12 

Knockfad, Knockfadda, . 393 

Knockfenora, 268 

Knockfin, Knockfune, . . 265 

Knockgrean 236 

Knockmaddaroe; hill of the 

red dog. 
Knockmanagh, .... 93 

Knockmore, 393 

Knockmoynagh ; Munster- 

man's hiU (p. 123). 
Knocknabrogue, . , . 184 

Knocknacarney, .... 106 
Knocknacaska, .... 437 

Knocknadiha 411 

Knocknafaugher, . , . 363 
Knocknagilky ; hiU of the 

broom (p. 316). 
Knocknagoran, .... 24 
Knocknagranogy, . . . 292 
Knocknagreana ; sunny hiU. 
KnocknaguUiagh, . - . 290 
Kjiocknalower, .... 80 


Knocknamanagh, ... 93 
Knocknaseed, .... 175 
Knocknaseggane, . . . 285 
Knocknashammer, ... 55 
Knocknashamroge, ... 55 

Knocknashane 28.5 

Knocknashangan, . . . 285 
Knocknashee; hill of the 



Knocknatinnyweel, . . . 


Knockrawer ; thick hill. 
Knocksaggart ; priest's hill. 


Knockshangarry; hill of 

the old garden (p. 450). 



Knockycosker, .... 



Kylenasaggart, .... 
Kyleomedan; fool's wood 

(p. 160). 
Kyleonermody, . . . 


Kylespiddoge, . . » . 









Labara, Labarus, Laber, . 67 

Labbinlee, Labbyanlee, . 102 

Labrann 67 

Lackafinna; white stones. 
Lackaghboy; yellow stony 
place (p. 272). 

Lackanscaul, 103 

Lacantedane, 241 

Lackavrea Mountain, . . 445 

Lackaweer, 112 

Laganore, 344 

Lagflugh ; wet hollow. 

Laghaghglass 365 

Laghey, Laghy 365 

Laghtcausk, ... . 437 

Index of Names. 



Xagnagoppoge 327 

Ijahagh, 365 

Lahaghglass ; green slough. 

Xaharan, Laharran, . . 360 

Xaheen, 366 

Xask Eiver 443 

Xatgee, 240 

Latnamard 110 

Xatroe; red laght (p. 271). 

Xavaran, 41 

Lavareen, 56 

Xawarreen 56 

Lea, Leagh, 277 

Leaghin .... . 277 

Leaghan, 277 

I/eana, Leahys, .... 277 

Leaheen 277 

XieamokeToge, .... 278 

Leany, . 378 

Learden, 36 

Xecarrownagappoge ; half- 
quarter of the dockleaves 
(p. 327). 

Xeckanvy, 243 

Xeedaun, 36 

Iieenane, 383,384 

Xeganamer, 407 

Legatraghta, 245 

Legavannon, 294 

I^egiUy, 271 

Legnahorna ; hollow of the 

barley" (p. 304). 

Leighan, Leighon, . . . 277 

Xenabower 48 

Lenaloughra ; rushy wet 
meadow (p. 315, 378). 

Lenamore, 378 

Xenareagh, Lenarevagh ; 
grey wet meadow (p. 276). 

Xennaght, 201 

Xeny, 378 

Xeo, Leoh, . ... 326 

Xeopardstown, .... 81 

Xettercannon, .... 269 

Xetterdife, 411 

Xettergarriv; rough hill-side* 


Letterlougher, .... 315 
Leugh, Lewagh, .... 326 
Leyallynearl; half townland 

of the earl (p. 57)- 

Lickerrig, 271 

Xicknaun, 33 

Xickny 26 

Linduaehaill, .... 385 
Ling, ford of, .... 385 
Lingaim river, .... 444 

Linns, 385 

Lisacoghill, 195 

Lisanargid, 347 

Lisaslaun, 83 

Lisatilister, 316 

Lisbanlemneigh ; white fort 

of the leap of the horse. 

Lisbunny, 387 

Lisburn, 118 

Liscloonmeeltoge ; fort of 

the meadow of the 

midges (p. 284). 
Lisconduff ; fort of the 

black hound. 

Lisdillure, 10 

Lisdrumclere, .... 194 
Lisglass ; green fort. 

Lisglassock, 287 

Lisheenaleen 310 

Lisheenanargid, .... 347 
Lisheenanierin, .... 349 
Lisheennagat; little fort of 

the cats. 
Liskea, Liskeagh, 
Lislane, .... 
Lismore, .... 
Lisnacreaght, . 
Lisnafunchin ; fort of the 

Lisnagar demesne, . . . 

Lisnagarvy, 118 

Lisnageer ; fort of the ber- 
ries (p. 306). 

Lisnagelvin, 288 

Lisnagloos, 403 




Index of Names. 


Lisnagonoge, 186 

Lisnagunogue, .... 186 

Lisnamintry, 114 

Lisnamoe ; fort of the cows. 

Lisnanoul, 159 

Lisnaponra ; fort of the 

beaBs (p. 306). 
Lisnaree ; fort of the kings. 

Lisnarode, 213 

Lisnasallagh, Lisnasillagh, 

336, 337 
Lisnasassonagh ; the fort of 
the Englishmen (p. 121 ). 

Lisnasoolmoy, 82 

Lisnasprunane, .... 306 

Lisoid, 361 

Lisomadaun ; fool's fort. 

Lisrenny, 313 

Lisroe, red fort (p. 271). 

Lissacurkia, 303 

Lissadiilta 142 

Lissaghanedan, .... 5 

Lissaghmore, . • . . . 5 
Lissaleen ; fort of flax (p. 309). 

Lissanair, 319 

Lissanarroor, 300 

Lissanierin, 349 

Lissanode, ..... 361 

LissanoTer, 442 

Lissanure ; fort of the yew. 

Lissasmattaun, .... 333 

Lissataggle, 305 

Lissatunna, Lissatunny, . 216 

Lissofin, 149 

Lissoiighter, 415 

Lissurland, 321 

Lissyclearig; O'Cleary's fort. 

Listooder, 115 

Listraghee, 8 

Listraheagny 8 

Lloyd, Hill of, .... 169 

Lohort, 318 

Loobagh river, .... 401 

Loonaghtan, 201 

Lorton, 318 

Losset, 406 


Loughacrannereen, , . 41 

Lough Afoor, .... 246' 

Lough Aguse, .... 338 

Loughakeo, 248 

Lough Aleenaun, . . . 384 

Lough Alunaghta, . . . 202 
Loughanargid,Loughanargit, 345 

Loughaneeg, 88' 

Loughaneanvrick, . . . 297 

Loughanierin, .... 349 

Lough Animma, . . . 204r 

Loughan Island, ... 21 

Loughanlea, 8& 

Loughanleagh, .... 8S 
Loughanlewnaght ; same 

as Lough Alunaghta. 

Loughannadown .... 251 

Loughannagilla, .... 270' 

Loughannasool, .... 88 

Loughanscaul, .... 104 

Lougharnagh, .... 6 

Lough Arudda, .... 850 

Lough Atalia, .... 250 

Loughatallon, .... 351 

Lough Atedaun, . . . 241 

Loughatorick 207 

Loughaunnavaag, . . . 316 
Loughanroe; red little lake. 

Lough Ayellowin, . . . 288 

Lough Ayelvin, .... 288 

Lough Ayoosy, .... 338- 

Loughbane, Louglibaun, . 269 

Lough Belshade, .... 358 

Lough Eoolynagreana, . 235 

Loughcashleen, .... 257 

Lough C'looshgirrea, . . 403 
Lough Cluher, . . . 132, 245 

Lough Cong, 387 

Longh Coura, .... 71 

Lough Cowey, .... 155 

Lough Crillan, .... 368 

Lough Croan, .... 274 

Loughdeheen, Loughdiheen, 411 

Loughdoo 261 

Loughduff 26 L 

Lough Egish, . . . . Ill 

Index of Names. 


Lougber, Lougliermore, 
Lough Eyes, . 
Loughfea, . . 
Lough gal, . .■ 
Lough gel uane 
Lough gill, . . 
Lough Glore, . 
Lough Gowna, 
Lough Iron, . 
Lough Lohery, 
Lough Muskry, 
Lough Nabrack, 
Lough Nabrackalan, 
Lough Nabrackbady, 
Lough Nabrackbeg, 
Lough Nabrackbautia, 
Lough Nabrackboy, . 
Lough Nabrackdeelion, 
Lough Nabrackdarrig, 
Lough Nabrackderg, 
Lough Nabrackkeagh, 
Lough Nabrackmore, 
Lough Nabrackrawer, 
Lough Nacreaght, . 
Lough Nacrilly, . . 
Lough Nacung, . 
Lough Nadreegeel, . 
Lough Nadrooa, . . 
Loughnaheery, . 
Lough Nakey, . . 
Lough Nambrackkdarrig, 
Lough Nanegish, 
Lough Nanoon, . 
Lough nashade, . 
Lough Nasnahida, 
Lough Nasool, 
Loughome, Loughourna, 











Lough Eamor, .... 39(> 

Loughros, 185 

Loughrud, 350 

Loughry, 315 

Loughsallagh, .... 36- 

Loughsheedan, .... 241 
Lough Shillin. . . .145, 14(> 

Lough Shindilla, . ... 197 

Lough Sillan 337 

Lough Skuddal, ... 194 

Lough Slaun, SJr 

Lough Slug 379 

Lowerton, Lovrertown, . 318 

Lowran, 41 

Loyst, 407 

Luaghnabrogue, .... 185 

Lubitavish, 14r 

Lucan, 32 

Luffertan, Luffertaun, . . 318 
Lugalisheen ; hollow of the 

little fort. 

Lugasnaghta, 245 

Lugatallin, 352 

Lugboy ; yellow hollow. 

Luggaeurren, 31 

Luggananimer, .... 407 
Lugglass ; green hollow. 
Lugnagun, hollow of the 


Luogh, 326- 

Lurgantamry, .... 438 

Lusmagh, 74 

Lustia, Lusty, .... 407 

Lyardane 36- 

Lyneen, 162 

Lyradane, 3& 

Lyref une ; white river fork. 
Lyrenacallee ; rirer-f ork of 

the hag. 

Mac Art's fort, . . . . 151 

Mackan Mackanagh, . . 330" 

Macnagh, Macknan . . . 330 

Maikney, 330 

Macreary, 369' 

Macroom 398 


Index of Koines. 


Maddyboy ; yellow sticks. 
Maddydoo ; black sticks. 
Maddykeel ; narrow sticks. 
Magheradartin ; plain of 
heifers (p. 294). 

Magheraglass, 417 

Magberanearla, Magheran- 
erla ; the plain of the 
earl (p. 67). 
JMagherascouse, .... 13 
3Iagherashaghry. . . . 1G5 
Maghereagh ; grey plain. 

Maghereen, 31 

Maghernashangan. . . . 285 

Maheraneig 72 

Mallabracka ; speckled hillocks. 
Malone, Maloon, , . 293, 294 
Mangerton Mountain, . . 43 

Martara, 435 

Martray, Martry, . . . 435 
Maughantoorig, .... 438 

Manherslieve, 290 

Maulbrack ; speckled hillock. 

Mauteoge 389 

Mautiagh 389 

Maynebog, 46 

Meeltoge, Meeltogues, . . 284 

Meen, 377 

Meenacharbet; mountain mea- 
dow of the chariot (p. 171). 
Meenacharvy, .... 119 

Meenacung 386 

Meenagranoge, .... 292 

Meenagrauv, 377 

Meenahony, 377 

Meenaguse 338 

Meenaheery ; mountain flat 
of the dun cow (p. 280). 

Meenanarwa 301 

Meenanimerish, .... 430 
Meenatawy ; mountain mea- 
dow of the sorrel (p. 323). 

Meenbane, 377 

Meenbog, 46 

Meencargagh ; rocky moun- 
tain meadow. 


Meenirroy, 161 

Meeniska, 377 

Meenlagh, 393 

Meenmore ; great moun- 
tain meadow. 
Meenreagh '; grey moun- 
tain meadow (p. 276). 

Meenscovane, 325 

Meentanakill, .... 377 

Meentoges, 378 

Meentyflugh, . . . 377, 378 

Menlo or Menlough, . . 393 

Meenvane, Meeuvaun, . . 377 

Meeshall, 416 

Menlough or Menlo, . . 393 
Mill Brook or Bellanaganny , 117 

MiUford, 105 

Mira, 11 

Mishalls, 416 

Miskish Mountains, . . 432 

Mitchelstown, .... 252 

Mitchelstowndown, . . 252 
Moanamought ; moi7i-na- 
mbocht, bog of the poor 
Moaufin, Moanfoun, Moan- 
f une ; white bog (p. 264). 

Moanleana, 378 

Moanour, 278 

Moanwing 370 

MocoUop, 295 

Modeshil, 428 

Moherbullog 193 

Mohernagh 6 

Mohernashammer, ... 55 
Monacallee ; hag's bog. 

Monachunna, 332 

Monacocka ; dirty bog (p. 162). 

Monafehadee, .... 374 

Monagier, 306 

Monagoush, 338 

Monagreany, 234 

Monahoora, 280 

Monairmore, 320 

Moonakeeba, 321 

Monalahy, 365 

Index of Names. 



Monaleen 311 

Monanagirr, 229 

Monanimy, 203 

Monaparson, 67 

Monaree, 99 

Monarud ; bog of the iron 

scum (p. 350). 

Monaseed, 175 

Monaspick, 90 

Monasterboice 227 

Monasterevin, .... 227 

Monasterlyiin, . . . • 146 

Monasternalea, .... 227 

Monasteroris 140 

MonaToddagh, .... 160 
Monearaniska ; meadow of 

the water (p. 320). 
Monearla ; earl's bog. 

Monearmore, 320 

Moneenbradagb, .... 109 

Moneennascytbe, . . . 175 

Moneenreare, 351 

Moneenroe ; red little bog. 

Moneyconey, 332 

MoneydoUo'g 334 

Moneygold, 142 

Moneygorbet, 172 

Moneylaban, Moneylane ; 

broad shrubbery (p. 394). 

Moneymeen, 393 

Moneynierin ; shrubbery 

of the iron (p. 348). 

Moneyrod 350 

Money sharvan, .... 322 
Moneyshingaun ; shrubbery 

of ants (p. 284). 

Moneysterling, .... 146 
Mong, Mongagh, Mongan, 

Mongaun, . . . . 321, 322 

Mongavlin 31 

Monknewtown 94 

Monog, 29 

Monreagh ; grey bog (p. 276). 

Mooghaun, Moohane, • . 369 

Moraghy 392 

Morerah 392 


Morning Star riyer, . . . 455 

Moroe, 272 

Mosstown 31 Q' 

Motabower ; deaf moat (p. 


Mount Equity, .... 434 
Moyad, Moyadd, Moyadda ; 

long plain (p, 393). 

MoyaUen, 64 

Moyarget, 345 

Moybolgue, 193 

Moyeightragh 415 

Moy, Etra and Otra, . . 416 
Moygarriff; rough plain. 

Moylehid, 394r 

Moyleroe ; red bare-hill. 

Moyletra, Kill and Toy. . 416 

Moynagh, 6 

Moynaghan, 6 

Moyng, 370 

Moyode, 360 

Moyroe, 272 

Moysnaght, 245 

MoyToughley, .... 183 

Muchknock, 393 

Muchrath, Muchrock. . . 393 

Muckanaghederdauhalia, . 250 

Muckross Abbey, . . . 421 

Muggalnagrow, .... 72 

Muing 370 

Muingatlaunlu sh, . . . 84 

Muingatogher, .... 470 

Muingbaun, 370 

Muingnaminnane, . . . 370 
Muingwee; yellow marsh. 

Mulgeeth 241 

MuUabrack, 282 

Mulladrillen 287 

Mullafernaghan, .... 32 

MuUaghasturrakeen, . . 38 

Mullaghbrack, .... 282 

Mullagh Carbadagh, . . 172 

Mullaghcleeyaun, . . . 194 

Mullaghcroy, 446 

Mullagh darrig, Mullagh- 

derg;red simimit (p. 271). 


Index of Names. 


MuUaghmesha, .... 192 

Mullaghnoney, .... 198 

MuUaghoran 144 

MuUaghruttery, .... 102 
MuUaghshantuUagh ; sum- 
mit of the old hillock. 

MuUaghslin 353 

MuUanabattog, .... 389 

Mullanacask 437 

MuUandavagh, . . . . 410 

Mullannavode, .... 361 

MuUanshellistragh, . . . 316 

MuUantain, 311 

Mullantine, 312 

MuUantra, 376 

MuUaroe 97 

MuUatigorry, 164 

MullaunaTode, .... 361 

Mullenbower, 48 

MuUenkeagh, 49 

Mullenoran near Mullin- 

gar, 302 

MuUinahack, 162 

Mullingee, ...... 240 

MuUinagore ; mill of the 

MuUybrack, 282 

MuUybrit, 282 

Mullynalughoge, . . . 286 
Mullysilly ; summit of the 
sallows (p. 336). 

Mulmontry, 114 

Mulnahorn 304 

Mulroy, 272 

Munga, Mungan, Mun- 

gaun, ..... 3-1, 322 

Murhaun, 40 

Murlough, 249 

Mynagh, 6 

MyshaU, 416 

Newbrook, 401 

Newtownbarry, .... 372 

Newtown Moynagh, . . 123 

Nier river, 279 


Odder, 278 

O'Dorney, 136 

Odras, 279 

Ogonnilloe, 136 

Oiltiagh stream 8 

Oorid 15 

Oorla, 321 

Oriel, .... 343,422,423 

Orior, 423 

Oristown, 423 

Orrery 52 

Otra, 416 

Oughter 414 

Oughteranny, 415 

Oughtiv, 365 

Oughtmama, 405 

Oughtymore, Oughtymoyle, 405 

Oulev, 4 

Ouragh, 278 

OuTrey, 445 

Owenacahina, 339 

Owenascaul, 104 

Owenavrea, 446 

Owenboy, 273 

Owengarve, 444 

Owenkeagh, 88 

Owennaforeesha river, . . 58 

Owennagloor, . . . . 291 

Owennamallaght, . . . 448 

Owennashingaun, . . . 285 

Owenriff, 351 

Owenroe, 271 

Owenshree, 216 

Owenskaw, 451 

Owenure, 246 

Owenwee, 273 

Ower, 278 

Owvane river, 270 

Palace, Pallas, .... 226 

PaUas Grean, 237 

Pallas Kenry, 226 

PaUis, 226 

Park, 59 

Parkanimerish, .... 430 

Index of Names. 










Parkatliiggera, . . . 
Tartavacoosh, . . . 
Tarkgarriff, Parkgarve, 
Parknagappul, . . . 
Parknaglantane, . 
Parknasilloge ; field of the 

sallows (p. 336). 
Parkroe ; red field. 


Phaleesh, 226 

Pigeon Rock, 291 

Pill Lane, 256 

Pill Rirer, 256 

PiUtown 255,256 

Pintown, 220 

Pishanagh, 305 

Poldoody, 143 

Pollacullaire, 352 

PoUadoo, PoUadooey, . . 264 

PoUadoohy, 264 

PoUaginniTe, 354 

PoUanaskan, 296 

PoUandoo, 264 

PoUataggle, 305 

PoUatlugga ; hole of the 

swallow (p. 379). 
PoUnagolum, .... 
Pollnamoghill, .... 
Pollnasillagh ; hole of the 

saUows (p. 336). 
PoUower ; grey hole (p. 278) 
PoUsharvoge, .... 


Portacloy, 215 

Portadown 225 

Portanab, 93 

Portarogie, 46 

Portcoon, 254 

Port-deha in Aran, . . . 411 
Portduff ; black bank or land- 
ing-place (pp. 224, 260). 

Portland, 225 

Portleen ; bank or landing- 
place of flax (pp. 224, 




Portloman, 21 

Portnacrinnaght, . . . 303 

Pottlerath, 116 

Poulaculleare, .... 352 

Poulacurry, 408 

Poulakerry, 408 

Poulanishery, .... 283 

Poulatedaun, 242 

Poulbaun ; white hole. 
Poulbautia ; submerged 

Poulgorm, 276 

Poulnaglug, 181 

Poulnalour, 80 

Poulnasherry 283 

Proudly river, 67, note. 

Puffing Hole, 242 

Pullis, ....... 13 

Quarter Lenagh, .... 378 

Quin, 339 

Quinsheen island, . . . 339 

Quintin bay and castle, . 153 

Quintinmanus, .... 430 

Ragamus, 13 

Rahan, Rahans, . . . 312, 313 

Rahavanig, 94 

Raheenabrogue, .... 184 

Raheenaclig near Bray, . 181 
Raheenakeeran ; little fort 

of the quicken tree. 

Raheenarran, 360 

Raheenleagh ; grey little 

fort (p. 277). 
Raheennagun ; little fort 

of the hounds, 

Raheensheara, .... 165 

Raheenyhooig, .... 429 

Rahin, 313 

Rahoran, 144 

Rahugh, 85 

Rainey, 313 

Ramore, 392 

Ramult ; fort of wethers. 

Ranaghan, 313 


Index of Names. 


Karuddy, 351 

Eashedoge, 242 

Easillagh ; fort of sallows. 

Eatass, 425 

Eathargid, 347 

Eathattin ; fort of furze. 

Eathbeg, 392 

Eathbrack ; speckled fort. 

Eathbran, 154 

Eathcline, 399 

Eathconnell, 325 

Eathcuppoge ; fort of dock 

leaves p. 327). 

Eatberrig, 271 

Eatheskar ; ' fort of the 


Eathevin 64 

Eathfran, 154 

Eathgormuck, .... 138 

Eathhugh 148 

Eathinree ; fort of the king. 

Eathleen, 310 

Eathmacnee, 148 

Eathmadder, 186 

Eathmore, . . . .392,393 
Eathnabo ; fort of the cow. 

Eathnaleugh, 327 

Eathnalour, 80 

Eathnamuddagh, . . . 161 

Eathnarovanagh, . . . 122 
Eathnure ; fort of the yew. 

Eathordan, 198 

Eathreagh, 276 

Eathsallagh, 367 

Eath-seanaidh, .... 439 
Eathsillagh ; fort of sallows. 

Eatory, 51 

Eattoo, 429 

Eeafadda; long rea or 

mountain flat (p. 393). 

Eeagh, 276 

Eeaghan, 276 

Eeaskgarriff ; rough marsh. 
Eeaskmore ; great marsh. 

Eeatagh 8 

Eed HiU in Sligo. ... 97 


Eee 27(> 

Eeenabulliga 242 

Eeendacussane ; point of 

the two paths. 

Eeennanallagane, . . . 334r 

Eeenrour, 396 

Eeevanagh, 418 

Eevlin 351 

Eeynclamper ; rea or moun- 
tain flat of the dispute 
(p. 430). 

Eindifin, 411 

Eingreagh, 27& 

Einroe ; red point. 

Roancarriek, 285 

Eoaninish, 282 

Eoaring water, .... 68 

Eodeen, Eoden, .... 214 

Eoerehagh, 272 

Eolagh, 272 

Roo, Roo House, . . • 324r 

Rooaun 272 

Rooghaun, 272 

Roolagh 272 

Roos, 324r 

Rootagh, Rootiagh, . . . 272 

Ropefield, 211 

Rosargid, 345 

Rosbercon, 138 

Roscam, 398 

Roscayey , . 321 

Rosenallis, .... 266 

Rosmult, 294r',? 

Rosnacartan ; wood of the 

forge. ' 

Rosroe; red wood. 

Rossalia, 64 

Rossard ; high wood. 
Rossboy; yellow wood. 
Rossdorragha ; dark wood. 

Rosserrily Abbey, . . . 422 

Rossgole 200 

Rosslare, 418 

Rosslea, 277 

Rossnagad; wood of the 
gads or withes. 

Index of Names. 



Kossroe ; red wood. 




Kowan, Eowans, . . . 




Kuan, Ruanes, Ruaimmore, 
Kubane House, .... 



Rushwee ; yellow wood -or 

point (see p. 272). 
Rye Water, 

Saint Ann's Church, . . 



Sallaghan, Sallaghy, . . 


Samer rirer, 

Sauce in Kerry, .... 



Scaffog ; a place producing 
wall-ferns (pp. 28, 325) 
Scardaun : a cataract. 




Scool, Seoul, 


Scrahan, Scrahane, Scra- 



Scullogestown, . . . . 







Senad Mac-Manus, . . . 






















Serse 452 

Seskinore 392 

Shanacashel 3 

Sbanafona, 450 

Shanaghy, 450 

Shanaknock, 450 

Shananagh, 286 

Shanavagoon 450 

Shanavaur ; old harr or top. 

ShanaToher, 451 

Shanawillen, 450 

Shanballyard ; old high town. 
Shanballyduff ; old black 
town (see pp. 260, 450). 

Shancashlaun 3 

Shancrock, 450 

Shandangan ; old forti-ess. 

Shandrim, 450 

Shandrum, 450 

Shaneghsh, 451 

Shanganagh, 285 

Shanganny, 286 

Shangort, 450 

Shanid, 440 

Shanmoy, 450 

Shannafreaghoge, . . . 450 

Shannow, Shanow, . . . 450 

Shanowen, 450 

Shanpallis ; old fairy fort. 

Shantalliv, Shantallow, . 3.59 

Shantraud, 451 

Shantulla, ShantuUig, . . 450 
Shanvoley; old hooley or 
dairy place (see p. 450). 

SharaTOgue, 29 

Sharvoge, Sharvogues . . 29 

Sheelruddera 102 

Sheskinloobanagh, . . . 401 

Shimna, 315 

Shinanagh, 219 

Shingannagh 286 

Shingaun, 286 

Shinnanagh, 289 

Shivdilla 197 

Shiven river, 315 

SiUagh, 336 



Index of Names. 





Silloge, . . 

Silver field, 

Silver HiU, 



Skaw, . . 


Skehaniei-in ; bush of the 

iron (see p. 348). 
Skehavaud; bush of the 

Skenageehy ; bush of the 
wind (see p. 240). 

Skibbereen, 42 

Skirra-go-hifSrn, ... 72 

Skool, 3C)3 

SlanWeU, 83 

Sheveanierin, 349 

Slieveanore, 344 

Slievebuck, . . . . . 282 
Slievecarragh, Slievecor- 

ragh, 445 

Slievedart, 295 

Slievedoo, Slieveduff ; black 
mountain (see p. 260). 

Slievefoore 246 

Slievegadoe, or Church Moun- 
tain, 433 

Slievegorm, 275 

Slievelahan ; broad moun- 
tain (see p. 394). 

Slieve Miskish 432 

Slievenagark, 290 

Slievenavode, 361 

Slievereagh, 276 

Slieve Russel, or Ruslien, . 25 

Slievesnaght, 244 

Slish, 197 

Sluggara, Sluggary, . . 379 

Smear, 307 

Smearlagh, 307 

Smerwick, 339 

Smuttanagh, 332 

Smutternagh, ... 16 
Snugville, 244 


Solloghod, ...... 336 

Sonnagh, 215 

Soodry ; a place for tan- 
ning, (p. 114). 

Sooey, 323 

Soran, Some, 223 

Sorrel Island, Sorrel House. 323 

Sow river, 323 

Spancelhill, 247 

Spaug 161 

Speenoge, 306 

Spiddle, 79 

Spinans, 306 

Spital, Spittle, .... 79 

Spunkane 24: 

Spurree, 61 

Sra, ........ 376 

Sraduff ; black river-holm. 

Sragli, Srah, 376 

Srahanbi-egagii, .... 414 
Sraheendoo ; black little 
rath or i-iver holm. 

SranagaUoon, 288 

Sranayalloge, 296 

Sruhangarrow ; rough stream- 
let (see p. 444). 

Sruhaungloragh, ... 66 

Sruhauu-more-ard, ... 72 

Stackarnagh, 58 

Stacks 59 

Stags, 69 

Strabane, 376 

Straboe 376 

Straboy, 273 

Stralongford; river -holm of 
the longphort or fortress. 

Stranamart 296 

Strananoon, 293 

Straness, 376 

Strangford Lough, . . . 254 

Stranorlar, 401 

Straw 376 

Sturgan, 38 

Sturrakeen, 38 

Sturrell 38 

Sturrin 38 ' 

Index of Names. 



Subulter, 224 

Summerhil], 438 

Simglen, 237 

Simuagh, 215 

SunyiUe, 237 

Sybil Head, 167 

Syerla, 58 

•Sylaun, 337 

Taggartsland, .... 91 

Tagharina, 100 

Taghart ; Art's or Arthur's 
house (see p. 150). 

Taghnoose, 152 

TallaTbaun, 359 

TallaTnamraher, .... 359 
Tallowroe, ...... 359 

Tamnadoey, 142 

Tamnaghmore ; great field. 

Tang river, 404 

Tangareane, 404 

Tangincartoor, .... 404 
Tanrego, 249 

■Taplagh, 16 

Tappaghan hill, .... 16 

Tarmon, 210 

Tarramud, 15 

Tarrea, ....... 446 

Tarsna, 419 

'Tateetra ; lower tate or field. 
Tatnamallaght ; tate or field 
of the curses (p. 448). 

Tattendillur, 11 

Tattyboy; yellow tate or 
r= field. 

Tattykeel; narrow tate or 

Tattyreagh; grey field. 

Tavnaghboy; yeUow field. 

Tavnaghorna Bm'n, . . . 304 

Tavnaghranny, . . . . 313 

Tawnaghbaun ; white field 
(see p. 269). 

Tawnaghgorm; blue field 
(see p. 275). 

Tawnanasheffin, .... 315 

2 K 


Tawnanasool; field of the 

eyes (see p. 87). 
Tawnawanny, .... 201 
Tawnytallan, .... 352 
Teereren; beautiful dis- 
trict (see p. 63). 
Teermore ; great district. 
Templeaplau, .... 77 
Templeathea, .... 446 
Templecowey, . . . . 153 
Templeglentan ; church of 

the little glen. 
Templeorau, Templeorum, 144 

Tempo, 4^ 

Termon, 210 

Termonbacca, .... 159 
Termonbarry, .... 210 
Termoncarragh, . . . . 211 
Termonfechin, .... 209 
Termonmagrath, . . . 210 
Termonmaguirk .... 210 
Termonomongan, . . . 210 

Terryglassog, 287 

Thimbletown, 312 

Tiermore ; great district. 
Tieveachorky ; hill-side of 
the oats (see p. 303). 

Tievaleny, 378 

Tievebunnan, .... 291 
Tievegarriff, Tievegarrow; 
rough hill-side (see p. 444). 

Tieyetooey, 429 

Timogue, SO 

Tinageeragh; house of the 

Tincone, Tincoon, . . . 254 

Tincouse, 214 

Tinnapark, 59 

Tinneel, 223 

Tinode ; house of the sod. 
Tintrim ; house of the elder 

Tinvacoosh, 221 

Tinvane, Tinvaim, . . . 362 
Tinwear, 112 



Index of Name^. 


Tiraciiorka ; district of the 

oats (see p. 303). 
Tiraree; district of the 

king (see p. 98). 
Tirearly ; district of the 

earl (see p. 57). 
Tirgarriff , Tirgarve ; rugged 

district (see p. 444). 

Tirhugh, 148 

Tirnaskea; district of the 


Tiromedan, 160 

Toberagarriff, .... 444 

Toberanierin, 349 

Toberanleise, 88 

Toberaquill; well of the 

coll or hazel. 
Toberataravan, . 
Toberayanaha, . 
Toberaviller, . • 
Toberboyoga, . . 
Tobergowna, . . 
Toberkeagh, . . 
Toberkeen, . . . 
Tobermacduagh, . 
Tobernaclug; well of 

beUs (see p. 180). 
Tobernadree, .... 
Tobernafauna, . . . 
Tobernasool, Tobersool, 
Tobernavaunia, . . . 
Tobernawahnee, Toberna 


Toberroe ; red well. 
Toberslane, Toberslaun, 
Toberslanntia, . . . 
Tobersool, Tobernasool, 
Toberyquin ; O'Quin's weU. 
Tomanierin ; mound of the 

iron (see p. 348). 

Tominearly, 58 

Tonashamm"^; bottomland 

of the shamrocks. 
Toneel, ....... 353 

TomiCleena, 251 












Tonn Kudhraidhe, . . . 251 

Tonns or Tuns, . . . . 251 

TonnTuaithe, .... 251 
Tonreagh ; grey bottom 

land see p. 276). 

Tonyfohanan, 314 

Tooradoo ; black bleach 

fields (see p. 260). 

Tooraree, 99 

Tooreenalour ; the leper's 

little bleach field (p. 79). 
Tooreennagrena; sunny little 

bleach field (see p. 233). 

Tooreennasillane, . . . 337 

Toornaneaskagh, .... 289 
Toorsmuttaun, . . . 332, 333 

Toppan island, .... 16 

Topped hill, 16 

Tory Hill, 51 

Tountinna 2.53 

Townlough, 253 

Trabane, 270 

Trabolgan, 22 

Trasna, Trasnagh, . . . 419 

Trawane, Trawbawn, . . 270 

Trawbreaga Bay, . . . 414 

Tray, .217 

Treananearla ; the earl's 

third part (see p. 57). 
Treanboy ; yellow third 

part (see p. 272). 

Trinamadan, 160 

Tristernagh, 335 

Tubbermacduagh, . . . 190 

Tubbridbritain, .... 120 

Tulfarris, 152 

Tullagee; windy hillock. 

Tullaghaloyst, .... 407 

TuUaghanbaun, .... 32 
TuUaghbeg; little hillock. 

TuUaghfin, 265 

Tullaghobegley 33 

Tullagreen, 234 

TuUaher 421 

TuUaherin, 389 

Index of Names. 



TuUakeel ; narrow liilloct. 
Tullanacrunat, .... 303 
Tullanaglug ; hillock of the 

bells (see p. 180). 

TuUerboy 12 

TulUnespick 90 

TulUntrat, 245,246 

Tullinwannia, Tullinwonny, 201 

Tullomoy, 206 

TuUovin, 136 

Tullyclea, 195 

Tullycoora, 71 

Tullycorbet, 172 

Tullycorka; hillock of the 

oats (see p. 303). 
Tullycreenaght, .... 303 
Tullyearl ; earl's hillock. 

Tullyhirm 389 

Tullyhugh 148 

Tullyminister, .... 228 
Tullynaeonspod, .... 431 

Tullynagee, 240 

Twllynaglug ; hillock of the 

bells (see p. 180). 

Tullynahinnera 198 

Tiillynanegish, . . . . Ill 
Tullynashammer ; hillock 

of the shamrocks. 

TuUynavaU, 212 

Tullyneasky, 288 

Tullynore, 344 

Tullyorior, 423 

Tullyrahan, Tullyrain; hil- 

look of the ferns (p. 312). 


Tullyskeherny, .... 17 
TuUywee ; yellow hillock 

(p. 272). 

Tunfl or Tonns, .... 251 

Turkenagh Mountain, . . 6 

Turnaspidogy, .... 288 

Turvey, 454 

Uallach, 67, 441 

Ughtyneill, ,_.... 405 
Ummeracly; ridge of the 

mound or dyke (p. 


Ummeras, 430 

Urbal, 403 

Urbalkirk, 403 

Urbalreagh; grey tail. 

Urbalshinny, 403 

Urlar, Urlaur, .... 402 

Urlee 321 

Urlingford, 434 

Urrasaun, 208 

Urrismenagh, .... 208 

Urros, 208 

Ushnagh Hill, Usnagh, . 7 

Warbleshinny, .... 403 

Watree, .-415 

Westport, 296 

Wheery, 331 

Wherrew 331 

Whinnigan, 32 

Windgap, Windgate, . . 240 



Ab, an abbot, 92. 

Abar, mire, 366. 

Ach, a termination, 3. 

Aedh [ay], a man's name, 147. 

Aedhaire [aira], a shepherd, 113. 

Ael, lime, 353. 

Aengns, a man's name, 151. 

Aimhi-eidh [ayrea], uneven, 445. 

Ainbhtheth [annayha], a storm, 

Air [ar], east, 420. 
Aire, a termination, 11. 
Airgead [arrigid], silver, 68, 345. 
Airthear [arher], eastern, 420. 
Alainn [awlin], beautiful, 64. 
Albanaeh, a Scotchman, 121. 
Amadan, a simpleton, 160. 
Amach, outside, 419. 
Amar, a trough, 407. 
Amhas [awas] a hired soldier, 

Anam, the soul, 436. 
An, a dim. termination, 20. 
Ancoire fan'coral, an anchorite, 

95. ' 
Aoibhinn [eevin], beautiful, 63. 
Arbha, arbhar, corn, 300, 301. 
Art, a man's name, 150. 

Baeach [bacca], a cripple, 159. 
Bachall, a crozier, 183. 

Eacus [batoose], a bake-house, 

Baidhte [bawtha], submerged, 

Baine [bonnya], milk, 201. 
Baintreabhach [bointrava], a 

widovr, 113. 
Bairghin [barreen], a cake, 55. 
Ban [bawn], white, 269. 
Ban [bawn], lea land, 361, 
Bard, a rhymer, 109. 
Beannacht [bannaght],ablessing, 


Beartrach, an oyster bank, 364. 

Beg, small, 390,391. 

Bhar, a termination, 10. 

Biadhtach [beeta], a public vic- 
tualler, 111. 

Binneas [binnas], melody, 70. 

Biolar [biUer], watercress, 325. 

Blath [blaw], a flower, 308. 

Blean, a creek, 258. 

Blonog, lard, 204. 

Bodach, a churl, 160. 

Bog, soft, a bog, 45. 

Bolg, a sack, 192. 

Bolg, a bellows, 242. 

Bodhar [bower], deaf, 46. 

Bother, 46. 

Bradach, a thief, 108. 

Bran, a man's name, 154. 


Index of Root Words. 

Brathair [brawlier], a friar, 95. 

Breac [brack], speckled, 281. 

Breac [brack], a trout, 296. 

Brean, stinking, 374. 

Breatan [brattan], a Briton, 120. 

Breathnach [brannagh], a Welsh- 
man, 119. 

Breug [breague], a lie, 411, 412. 

Brit, speckled, 282. 

Brog, a shoe, 183j 

Bru, a brink, 205. 

Buidhe [bwee], yellow, 272. 

Buidheog [boyoge], jaundice, 

Buinne [bunnia], a flood, 387. 

Bunnan [bunnawn], a bittern, 

Cabog, a clown, 161. 
Cac, dirt, 162. 
Cadach, alliance, 433. 
Caech [kee], blind, 158. 
Caedh [kay], a quagmire, 373. 
Gael [keal], narrow, 395. 
Caer [kear], a berry, 306. 
Caithne [cahina], arbutus, 338. 
Caisc [causk], Easter, 437. 
Caisle [cashla], a sea-inlet, 257. 
Calliach, a nun, 94. 
Cam, crooked, 160, 397. 
Campa, a camp, 59. 
Cananach, a canon, 90. 
Caoin [keen], beautiful, 62. 
Caonach [keenagh], moss, 318. 
Caoraigheacht [keereaght] , a herd 

of cattle, 107. 
Carbad, a chariot, 171. 
Carcair [carker], a prison, 223. 
Carr, a car, 172. 
Carrach, rough, 445. 
Ceabh [keave], long grass, 321. 
Ceanannus [cannanus], head 

abode, 228. 
Ceath [cah], a shower, 247. 
Ceannaighe [cannee], a pedlar, 


Ceap [cap], a stock or trunk, 

Cearc [cark], a hen, 289. 
Cearc-fraeigh [cark-free],aheath 

hen, 289. 
Cearrbhach [carvagh], a game- 
ster, 118. 
Ceileabhar [kellure], the warbling 

of birds, 69. 
Ceithearn [kehern], light-armed 

foot soldiers, 105. 
Ceo [keo], a fog, 247. 
Char, a termination, 9. 
Ciar [keer], black, 264. 
Cladach, a stony shore, 371, 
Cladh [cly, claw], a dyke or 

mound, 214. 
Claen [clean], sloping, 399. 
Claidheamh [clave], a sword, 

Claigeaun [claggan], a skull, 404. 
Clais [clash], a trench, 216. 
Clamh [clav], a leper, 79. 
Clarapar, a dispute, 430. 
Clar, a board, 218. 
Clerech, clergy, 90. 
Cliabh [cleeve], a basket, 193. 
Cliath [clee], a hurdle, 194. 
Clog, a bell, 180. 
Cluas, an ear, 403. 
Cluid [clood], a nook, 401. 
Cno, a nut, 307. 
Cochall, a net, a hood, 195. 
Codla [cuUa], sleep, 456. 
Coilleach-fraeigh [coUiagh-free], 

a heath cock, 289. 
Coileir [cullare], a quarry, 352. 
Coinleoir [conlore], a candlestick, 

Cointin, a controversy, 430. 
Coitchionn [cutteenj, a common, 

Cobhas [couse], a causeway, 214. 
Colpa, a heifer, 295. 
Colum, a dove, 291. 
Comhrac [corach], a meeting, 


Index of Root Words. 


Comlifhod [coad], abed or grave, 

Comortus, contention, 431. 
•Conadh [conna], fire-wood, 331. 
Cong, a narrow strait, 385. 
•Connachtach, a Connaughtman, 

•Coirce [curkia], oats, 303. 
■Coire [curry], a caldron, 408. 
Copog, a dock-leaf, 327. 
Creamh [crav], wild garlic, 327. 
•Crioch [cree], a boundary, 206. 
•Criathar [crihar], a sieve, 368. 
■Crith [crih], to shake, 367. 
Cro, a hut, 220. 

•Croiceann [cruckan], abide, 115. 
Crom, sloping, 398. 
"Crompan, a little sea-inlet, 255. 
"Cron, a colour, 363. 
■Cron, a round hoUow, 274. 
■Cruadh [eroo], hard, 446. 
"Cruiuihther [cruft'er], a priest, 

Cruithneacht [crinnaght], wheat, 

<Cu, a hound, 153. 
Cuas, a cove, 256. 
Cubhra [coora], sweet scented, 

Cuilc, cuilceach [quilk, quHka], a 

reed, 317. 
■Cuinneog [cunnyoge], a churn, 

•Cunnradh [cunraw], a treaty, 

Curadh [curra], a knight, 102. 

D as a termination, 14. 
Dabhach [davagh], a vat, 410. 
Dairt [dart], a heifer, 294. 
DaU, blind, 159. 
Dan, a dim. termination, 36. 
Dealg [dallig], a thorn, 334. 
Dearg [darrig], red, 271. 
Deas [dass], south, 425. 
Deisceart [deskart], south, 427. 

Diamhar [deevar], mysterious 

Deisiol [deshul], southwards, 428. 

Dian [deean], strong, 443. 

Diomas [deemas], pride, 442. 

Dobhar [dovarj, water, 379. 

Donn, brown, 273. 

Drean [dran], a wren, 286, 287. 

Dreas [drassj, a bramble, 334. 

Dreolan [drolaun], a wren, 287- 

Drong, a crowd, 439. 

Drui [dree], a druid, 96. 

Duairc [dooark], surly, 72. 

Dubh [duv], black, 260. 

Duibhen [duvean], a cormorant, 

Duille [duUia], a leaf of a tree, 

Duilleabhar [dillure], foliage, 

Dumhach [doovagh], a sand- 
mound, 364. 

Dur [door], water, 380. 

Eadar [adder], between, 417. 
Eag, death, 8ti. 
Ealagach, noble, just, 433. 
EarbaU, a tail, 402, 
Earrach, spring, 438. 
Easgan, an eel, 296. 
Easpog [aspug], a bishop, 90. 
Eibhis [evishj, coarse pasture, 

Eigeas [aigas], a poet, 111. 
Elestar, a dagger, 316. 
En, ene, a dimmutive termination, 

Eorna [orna], barley, 304. 

Fachair [faher], a shelf in a cliff, 

Fada, long, 393. 
Faithnidh [fahnee], a wart, 82. 
Fal[fawl], ahedge, 211. 
Fan [fawn], a slope, 400. 
Feadh [fa], a rush, 315. 


Index of Root Words. 

Fearann [farran], land, 359. 
Feith [fea], a wet trench, 315. 
Felestar, a flagger, 316. 
Fer [fair], grass, 319. 
Figheacloir [feedore], a weaver, 

Finn, white, 264. 
Forgnaidh [forgny], a building, 

FUuch [flugh], wet, 388. 
Fod [fode], a sod, 360. 
Fofannan, a thistle, 314. 
Foraois [furreesh], a forest, 58. 
Fothannan [fohanan], a thistle, 

Fothar [fohar], a forest, 330. 
Fuar, cold, 246. 

Ga, a dart, 175. 
Gaeth [gee], wind, 240. 
Gaeth, a sea-inlet, 258. 
Gadaighe [gaddy], a thief, 109. 
Gag [gang], a cleft, 405. 
Gaineamh [ganniv], sand, 354. 
Gairbheul [grarale], gravel, 354. 
Galloglach, a heavy-armed foot 

soldier, 105. 
Ganih [gauv], winter, storm, 242. 
Gan, a dim. termination, 31. 
Gar, near, 419. 
Garbh [garrav], rough, 444. 
Geal [gal], white, 270. 
Gealbhiin [galloon], a sparrow, 

Geallog [galloge], a white-beUied 

eel, 296. 
Gearr [gar], short, 393, 394. 
Gearr-fhiadh [girree], a hare, 

Giolc [gilk; g hard], a reed, 

broom, 316. 
Ginmhas [guse], fir, 337. 
Glas, green, 274. 
Glasog, a wagtail, 287. 
Gleo [glo], strife, 432. 
Gleoir [glore], brightness, 68. 
Glor [glore], a voice, 65. 

Glorach, voiceful, prattling, 65. 
Gluair [gloor], purity, 69. 
Goihn [goleen], a narrow little- 

sea-inlet, 256. 
Gorm, blue, 275. 
Graineog [granoge], a hedgehogs 

Greach, a mountain flat, 369. 
Grean [gran], gi-avel, 353. 
Grian [greean], the sun, 233. 
Gruag, hair, long grass, 320. 
Gual [goole], coal, charcoal, 200^ 
Gus, strength, 151. 

larla [eerla], an earl, 57. 

larann [eeran], iron, 348. 

Ic [eek], to heal, 76. 

Im, butter, 203. 

Imreas, a dispute, 430. 

Ih [een], a dim termination, 30. 

Ineaselann [inisclan], a strong 

stream, 382. 
Inneoin [innone], an anvil, 197.- 
lochdar [eeter], lower, 415. 
longa [inga], a nail, 402. 
lorrus [irrus], a peninsula, 207- 
Iseal [eeshal], low, 416. 

Lach, a termination, 5. 
Laech [lay] a champion, 102. 
Laighneach [lynagh], a Leinster 

man, 122. 
Lar, middle, 418. 
Lathach [lahagh], a slough, 365.- 
Leamh [lav], marsh mallows,, 

Leamhnacht [lewnaght], new 

milk, 201. 
Leana, a wet meadow, 378. 
Lease [lask], lazy, 443. 
Leathair [laher], leather, 115. 
Leathan [lahan], broad, 394. 
Leigheas [lease], a cure, 88. 
Leithead [lehed] breadth, 394. 
Lestar, a vessel, 186. 
Liagh [leea], a physician, 76. 
Liath [leea], grey, 277. 

Index of Root Worda 


Lin [leen], flax, 309. 

Lin [leen], to fill, 383. 

Ling, to spring, 444. 

Linn, a pond, 384. 

Lobhar [lower], a leper, 79. 

Luachair [loogbar], a rush, 315. 

Luan, a lamb, 293. 

Lubbghort [looart], an herb 

garden, 317. 
Liich, a mouse, 286. 
Luibh [luT, liv], an herb, 317. 

Maer [mare] a steward, 112. 
Mainister [mannister], a monas- 
tery, 226. 
Mallacht, a curse, 448. 
Manach, a monk, 93. 
Mart, a bullock, 296. 
Martra, martyrdom, 434. 
Meacan [mackan], a parsnip, 

Meadar [mether], a kind of yes- 

sel, 186. 
Meadhon [maan], middle, 417. 
Meann, meannan [man, man- 

nawn], a kid, 294. 
Mean tan [man tan], a snipe, 289. 
Mearacan, foxglove, 312. 
Mias [meece], a dish, 192. 
Min [meen], fine or smooth, 

small, 376, 393. 
Miol [meel], a beast of any kind, 

Mioltog [meeltoge], a midge, 284. 
Miscuis [miscush], enmity, spite, 

Mogul, a cluster, 72. 
Moinfheur [monear], a meadow, 

Molt, a wether, 294. 
Mong, hair, long coarse grass, 

Mor [more], great, 390. 
Much [mooh], smoke, 369. 
Muchadh [mocha], to smother. 
Muchan [moohawn], a morass 

Muimhneach [mweenagh], a 

Munsterman, 123. 
Muing, a sedgy place, 370. 
Muir [mur], the sea, 248. 

Nach, a termination, 6. 
Nan, a dim. termination, 33. 
Naosga [neasga], a snipe, 288. 
Nat, a dim. termination, 27. 
Ne, a dim. termination, 25. 
Neanta [nanta], a nettle, 314. 

Odhar [ower], dark brown, 278. 
Og [oge], a dim. termination,. 

Oir [ur], east, 420. 
Oirthear [urher], east, 420, 421,. 

Oisire [ishera], an oyster, 283. 
Or [ore], gold, 341. 
Ord, order, ecclesiastical rank,. 


Pairc [park], a field, 59. 

Palas, pailis, a fort, a fairy 
palace, 226. 

Pearsan, a parish priest, a par- 
son, 56. 

Pill, a small inlet, 255. 

Pis [jDish], pease, 305. 

Plaigh [plaw], a plague, 77- 

Pona, a pound, 450, note. 

Ponaire [ponara], a bean, 305. 

Port, a bank, a landing place, a- 
fortress, 224. 

Potaire [puttera], a potter, 115. 

Rach, a termination, 7. 
Eaithneach [rah'Tna], ferns, 312. 
Re, a termination, 11. 
Keamhar [rower, rawer], fat, 

thick, 395. 
Ri, righ [ree], a king, 98. 
Riabhach [reeagh], grey, 276. 
Ridire [riddera], a knight, 101. 
Rioghna [reena], a queen, 100. 


Index of Root Words. 

Enach, a compound termination, 

Eod [road], a road, 213. 
Rod, ruide [rud, ruddia], iron 

scum, 350. 
Romhanach [roTanagh], a 

Roman, 122. 
Ruadh, [rua], red, 271. 
Rubha [rooj , the plant rue, 323. 
Ruibh [riv], sulphur, 351. 

■Saeirse [seerslia], a freehold, 

Saer [sair], free, 452. 
Sagart, a priest, 91. 

Saighed [syed], an arrow, a dart, 

Sail, saile [saul, saulia], salt 
water, brine, 249. 

Sail, saileach, saileog [saul, sau- 
lia, saulioge], a sallow tree, 

Salann, salt, 352. 

Samhadh [sowa], sorrel, 322. 

Samhradh [sowra], summer, 438. 

Samhthrusc [sauyrusk], leprosy, 

Sassonach, an Englishman, 121. 

Satharn [saharn], Saturday, 437. 

•Seal [scaul], a hero, 103- 

•Scath [skaw], a shadow, 451. 

Sceamli [scav], wall fern, 325. 

Sciath [skeea], a shield, 177. 

Scolb, a scollop, 198- 

.Scolog [skologe] , a small farmer, 

Sooth [skoh], a flower, 309. 

Scrath [scraw], a grassy boggy 
surface-sod, 362. 

.Scudal [skuddal], a fishing-net, 

Sciimhal [skool], a steep, 363. 

Seach [shagh], a termination, 9. 

Seagal [shaggal], rye, 305. 

Seamar, seamrog [shammer, 
shamroge], a shamrock, 53. 

Sean [shan], old, 450. 

Seangau [shangaun], a pismire, 

Searbh [sharrav], bitter, 322. 
Searbhan, searbhog [sharvaun, 

sharvoge], dandelion, 322. 
Sed [shade], a cow, a jewel, 355. 
Seid ^shade], to blow, 241. 
Seidean [shedawn], a breeze, a 

gust, 59. 
Seindile [shindilla], a beetle, 197. 
Senad, a synod, 439. 
Sian [sheeau], foxglove, 311. 
Sibhin [shiveen], a rush, 315. 
Sin [sheen], a storm, 243. 
Slabhra [sloura, slayra], a chain, 

Slaed [slade], a slide-car, 174. 
Slan [slaun], health, 83. 
Slin, a slate, 353. 
Slis [slish], a beetle, 196. 
Slog [slug], to swallow, 378. 
Smear, a blackberry, 305. 
Smut, a stock or trunk, 322. 
Sneacht [snaght], snow, 244. 
Sonnach, a mound or rampart, 

Sorn, a kiln, 222. 
Spag [spaug], a long ugly foot, 

Spideog [spiddoge], a robin red- 
breast, 287. 
Spionan [speenaun], a gooseberry 

bush, 305. 
Spor [spui-], a spur, 60. 
Si'ae [sray], a mill race, 216. 
Srath [srah], a holm or river- 
meadow, 375. 
Staca [stawka], a stake, 58. 
Snathad [snawhadj, a needle, 

Siidaire [soodera], a tanner, 114. 
Siiil [soolj, the eye, 87. 

Tach, a termination, 8. 
Tachar, a fight. 431. 
Talamh [tallav], land, 359. 
Tamh [tauv] , a plague, 76. 

Index of Boot Words. 


Tan, a termination, 35. 

Tarsna, across, 418. 

Tat, a diminutive termination, 

Teanga [tanga], a tongue, 404. 
Tearmann [tarmon], a sanctuary 

Teidhm [tame], a plague, 77. 
Tein-aeil [tinneel], a lime -kiln, 

Teora [toral, a boundary, 207. 
Tirm, dry, 389. 
Toun, a wave, 251. 
Tonnach, a mound or rampart, 

Toraidbe [tory], a hunter, an 

outlaw, 49. 
Tracb, a termination, 8. 
Treun [train], a hero, 104. 
Trodan [truddan], a quarrel, 


Tuaisceart [tooskert], northern,. 

Tuadh [tooa], an axe, 176. 
Tuaith [tooa], north, 428. 
Tuath [tooa], a layman, 416. 

Uabhar [oovar], pride, 441. 
Uachdar [oughter], upper, 414, 
TJaigneas [oognas], solitude, 454^ 
Uallach [oolagh], proud, 67, note,. 

TJan, a lamb, 293. 
TJcaire [ookera], a fuller, 117. 
TJcht, the breast, 404. 
Ultach, an Ulsterman, 123. 
Umar, a cup, a hollow, 406. 
Urla [oorla], long grass, 321. 
Urlaigh [oorly], slaughter, 434. 
Urlar, a floor, 401. 


€^t bright niib Ijistcrrir of Jfrblj Uamcs 

(first series). 

Third Edition, 592 pages. Price 7s. 6d. 



Chapter I. — How the Meanings have been ascertained. Chapter 

II. — Systematic Changes. Chapter III. — Corruptions. Chapter 

IV. — False Etymologies. Chapter V. — The Antiquity of Irish 
Local Names. 



Chapter I. — Historical Events. Chapter II. — Historical Perso- 
nages. Chapter III. — Early Irish Saints. Chapter IV. — Legends. 
Chapter V. — Fairies, Demons, Goblins, and Ghosts. Chapter VI. 
— Customs, Amusements, and Occupations. Chapter VII. — Agri- 
culture and Pasturage. Chapter VIII. — Subdivisions and Measures 
of Land. Chapter IX. — Numerical Combinations. 



Chapter I. — Habitations and Fortresses. Chapter II. — Ecclesias- 
tical Edifices. Chapter III. — Monuments, Graves, and Cemeteries. 
Cliapter IV. — Towns and Villages. Chapter V. — Fords, Weirs, 
and Bridges. Chapter VI. — Roads and Causeways. Chapter VII. 
— Mills and Kilns. 



Chapter I. — Mountains, Hills, and Rocks. Chapter 11. — Plains, 
Valleys, Hollows, and Caves. Chapter III. — Islands, Peninsulas, 
and Strands. Cliapter IV. — Water, Lakes, and Springs. Chapter 
V. — Rivers, Streamlets, and Waterfalls. Chapter VI. — IMarshes 
and Bogs. Chapter VII. — Animals. Chapter VIII. — Plants. 
Chapter IX. — Shape and Position. 

Index of Names. Index op Root-words. 


Mr. Joyce's work reminds us that there are two kirds of popular 
Avriters. The one knows barely enouf,fh to enable 1 im to wi"ite his 
book ; he has no surplus of knowledge. The other is the man of 
extensive scholarship, who makes clear the more abstruse parts of 
his knowledge for the benefit of the less learned. His work, though 
sometimes heavy, is always accurate. Mr. Joyce 'belongs to this 
latter class ; but in his case, notwithstanding the difficulties of his 
subject, his arrangement is so admirable, and his explanations are 
so lucid, that his book never becomes dull. It will be studied with 
satisfaction by those who know Ireland, and may be read with 
interest even by those who have never seen her green hills and 
pleasant meadows. — The Athenomm. 

Mr. Joyce is in everything a member of the rational school. His 
Avhole method is scientific ; there is no guess work about him. To 
work out the local nomenclature of any country, a man must have a 
;good stock alike of sound scholarship and of sound sense ; and Mr. 

Joyce seems to have no lack of either Mr. Joyce 

goes most thoroughly through the various classes of names, and the 
various kinds of objects, persons, and events, after which places are 

<:alled We can heartily recoinmend j\Ir. Joyce's book 

as interesting and instructive to all who care for the study of 
language and nomenclature, whether they boast of any sjoecial Irish 
scholarship or not. — The Saturday Review. 

Learned and curious. — The Daily News. 

If any one wishes to have a notion how many pitfalls beset the, 
path of the topographical etymologist, and what an amount of col- 
lateral knowledge and of curious criticism is requisite to avoid them, 
he cannot do better than study this book of Dr Joyce's, which, if we 
mistake not, will make an era in this branch of antiquarianism . . 
. . . . These specimens will give our readers an idea of what an 
instructive and entertaining commentary Dr. Joyce's book furnishes 
on the history and geography of Ireland. — The Scotsman. 

The book is full of interest, and is a real contribution to Ii-ish, 
as also to Scottish, topographical nomenclature. — The North British 

A work which will be welcomed by all students of Irish history 
and antiquities. Mr. Joyce has brought to his interesting search 
the highest qualifications, combined with unusual industry and inde- 
fatigable perseverance, and the result is a volume of the liighest 
Talue, whether estimated from an historical, philological, or anti- 
quarian point of view. The style is clear and fresh, and the subject 
in Mr. Joyce's hands never becomes dry or uninteresting. — Public 

No work of its size yet published furnishes so much sound and 
interesting information about the passed-away things of Ireland. — 
The Dublin University Magazine. 

Opinions op the Press — continued. 


We can recommend the book to everybody. It is a learned yet 
popular history, a series of separate yet skilfully combined stories, 
and the by-ways of many an ancient narrative are here lighted up 
and illumined by the geniality and sympathy of an earnest student 
and an accurate scholar. — The Freeman's Journal. 

Dr. Joyce devotes a chapter to this subject (" Fairies, Demons, 
Goblins, and Ghosts ")• It is one of the most agreeable pieces of 
reading that has fallen in our way for many a day. The extent of 
faiiy mythology in Ireland, the names it has given to townland and 
borough, to mountain peak and way-side well, are all most learnedly 
sought out from stores of our ancient MSS., and are very graphically 
narrated. — The Nation. 

drislj yocnl pames ^^'jjlaimij. 

Cloth, Price 2s. Od. 

In this little hook the original Irish forms and the meanings of ahoul 
2,500 of the principal local names in Ireland are given. A large number of 
these occur many times in various parts of the country ; so that in reality 
the names of five or six thousand different places are explained. The pro- 
nunciation of all the principal Irish words is given as they occur. 

g^ndent ,^nslj gtitsk 

Comprising one hundred Irish airs not before published ; many old 
popular songs, and several new songs. 
Large paper copy, cloth, 6s. 6d. ; small paper copy, •wrapper, 4s. 




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examination without the aid of a teacher. It contains, besides, the 
most recent Regulations, several sets of the Questions given at the Open 
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Programmes, Staff and Salaries of the Offices not Open. A complete 
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Second Edition. Price 3s. 6d. 

" It is impossible to imagine a more excellent vork than ' IIcw to 
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